As part of my ongoing Vista Media Center project, I'm about to add Blu-ray and HD DVD playback capabilities to my new living room system. Unlike most upgrades, though, this one isn't a simple matter of plugging in a new drive and loading some updated drivers. You'll need to jump through no fewer than six hoops to get Blu-ray or HD DVD working on a Windows PC.
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Ed Bott is an award-winning technology writer with more than two decades' experience writing for mainstream media outlets and online publications.
Microsoft has finally removed the wraps from its plans for Windows Vista Service Pack 1. What's in it? When will you be able to get your hand on it? Will it include a new search interface to address antitrust complaints? I've got answers to those questions and more.
Several readers have written to request a list of parts and prices that I used for my Vista Media Center system. Here it is, with the caveat that the prices are bound to fluctuate. If you're planning to build your own, start here.
In June, I recounted my out-of-the-box experience with a new Dell PC running Windows Vista. In July, I took the plunge and moved this system out of the office and into the living room. With a few extra bits of hardware, everything is working together perfectly. If you've considered doing the same thing, read my advice and check out the accompanying image gallery.
The single most frustrating thing about working with Vista today, just as it was back in the year after XP's release, is that the collection of accumulated experience hasn't turned into a searchable trove of solutions yet. It takes time and effort for early adopters to build that sort of distributed knowledge base. So how do we get there? Less whining, more complaining.There's a big difference.
Over the weekend, I read yet another Windows Vista whine that managed to hit the Slashdot front page. In this case, it was my longtime colleague Jim Louderback, who decided to push the "Vista sucks" button as he was bailing out of PC Magazine. Here's why I'm unimpressed.
If you're waiting for Peter Gutmann to reply to my questions or those of my ZDNet colleague George Ou about his confusing, contradictory, and inflammatory Windows Vista "research," I've got some bad news. In a note on his website, Gutmann says he "doesn't have the time" to back up his theories with actual facts. Anyone want to take bets on how many publications that unquestioningly picked up his original FUD will publish follow-up stories?
Encryption researcher Peter Gutmann of New Zealand says the content protection built into Windows Vista is creating headaches for people trying to view high-definition content they've created. Trouble is, Gutmann doesn't appear to have actually used the OS he's so intent on tearing down. I've got five questions I hope he'll answer when he gets back to his office.
If you're using Windows Vista, you might be tempted by low, low prices to bump your system RAM from 2GB to 4GB. You want it, but do you need it? In my experience, you should only consider adding that extra RAM if you belong to one of two exclusive groups. Do you fit into either of these exceptions?
If you've tried to install this week's two performance and compatibility hotfix rollups for Windows Vista, you may have encountered an odd error message. I've got the explanation, plus instructions on how to verify that the updates have indeed been correctly installed.