Ed Bott

Ed Bott is an award-winning technology writer with more than two decades' experience writing for mainstream media outlets and online publications.

Latest Posts

Hasta la Vista, Nvidia

Nine months after Microsoft released Windows Vista to manufacturing and six months after Vista hit retail shelves, Nvidia still can't get its driver act together. With an Nvidia display adapter, you might be unable to resume from sleep, and HDTV displays are a mess. Here's why I'm no longer using or recommending Nvidia cards.

July 30, 2007 by

130 Comments

Vista Hands On #18: Log on automatically

A reader asks how to automatically log on to a default user account without having to click an icon on the Welcome screen. The procedure for setting up auto-logon is pretty simple, as long as you understand the security risks. I have step-by-step instructions, plus a link to a useful power toy that does the necessary registry edits for you.

July 29, 2007 by

32 Comments

Problems arise with Vista's activation system

Last month I began hearing rumblings of problems with the product activation system in Windows Vista. Last week I got to see the problem firsthand. The bottom line? The simple act of updating some hardware drivers – without making any changes to the hardware itself – can result in the Software Protection Platform code in Windows Vista deciding that the system requires reactivation. Some very common drivers from some big-name hardware vendors are the cause, and a fix could be months away.

July 26, 2007 by

226 Comments

Vista Hands On #17: Solving a pesky resource problem

Are you experiencing odd "out of memory" errors or display problems with Windows Vista when you try to open a large number of programs or windows? Even if you have multiple gigabytes of physical memory in your Windows Vista system and you're using only a fraction of it, you can still run into this problem. It turns out the cause is more than a decade old, and the solution is as simple as tweaking a Registry key to bump up the size of the mysterious interactive desktop heap. I've got the details.

July 25, 2007 by

126 Comments

Hardware notebook: What I look for in a Vista PC

For most of last year, I was installing beta releases of Windows Vista practically every week. Since Vista's official release six months ago, I've had the luxury of being able to work with the same hardware and software for months, with the goal of setting up stable systems that are easy to use over the long term. Here's what I've adopted as my current specs for new desktop and notebook systems running Windows Vista.

July 12, 2007 by

50 Comments

The Vista driver outlook gets a little brighter

I’ve been watching for the past six months as PC hardware makers deliver updated drivers to make their products work with Windows Vista. Lately, the trickle has turned into a steady stream, with some high-volume hardware companies delivering solid 32- and 64-bit updates. But there are still some rough edges to deal with.

July 5, 2007 by

79 Comments

Vista isn't Me2, it's Win95 + 12 years

The similarities between Vista and Windows 95 are striking: Unachievable levels of hype; a long and public beta; initial compatibility, performance, and stability problems. If history repeats itself, Microsoft will release its next Vista update in 2009 or 2010 and it will be greeted as finally delivering on the promise of what Vista should have been all along.

June 28, 2007 by

249 Comments

Has Dell kicked the crapware habit?

In the fourth installment of my series on setting up a new Dell consumer PC running Windows Vista Home Premium, I roll up my sleeves and start looking for crapware to zap. Surprisingly, there's almost none to be found, and Dell has created a simple automated routine to uninstall the handful of programs included with this PC. Have consumers won the war against crapware?

June 20, 2007 by

107 Comments

Not one, but two Windows service packs

A newly released document filed with the U.S. District Court supervising the Microsoft antitrust case reveals some detals about two long-awaited Windows updates. Yes, Virginia, there will be a Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista, and there's news about the long-delayed Service Pack 3 for Windows XP, too.

June 20, 2007 by

14 Comments