Over the years, I’ve made no secret of my distrust of the Windows security software industry. With the security tools in Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows Vista, an alert Windows user is protected from the overwhelming majority of security threats and has to actively participate in any plot to infect his or her PC. That’s bad news for the ringleaders of the security software racket, who want to keep you afraid so you’ll buy more stuff from them. The latest examples include security software that makes your system unusable, and one that detects Apple's QuickTime as a "high-risk parasite."
The Ed Bott Report
Get outspoken insights and expert advice on the products and companies that define today's tech landscape, from a source who knows these technologies inside and out.
Ed Bott is an award-winning technology writer with more than two decades' experience writing for mainstream media outlets and online publications.
Starting with Tweak UI for Windows 95, Microsoft has a long tradition of releasing geeky utilities that quickly become essentials for Windows power users. Now that Vista has been out for a few months, the first batch of power toys can't be far behind. I'm starting a list of ideas on the chance that someone at Microsoft is looking for some inspiration. Add your suggestions here.
By my count, Microsoft has released at least 10 distinct versions of Windows since 1990. Some evoke fond memories, some not so much. Which version was the best, and which was the worst? (Hint: They were released within a year of each other.) Read my ratings and then add your own.
Earlier this week I explained how to create separate system and data volumes when setting up Windows Vista from scratch. Today, I'll explain how to accomplish the same goal on a system where Windows Vista is already set up - no third-party software required.
Businesses don't want to upgrade. Hardware makers are dragging their feet producing compatible drivers. Windows users are sticking with the old version because the new one isn't all that different. Sound familiar? This month's Vista predictions are ripped straight from the headlines in the late 1990s.
Earlier in this series, I recommended separating Windows system files and user data on separate drives for maximum security. But what if you have only a single drive? Then use the next best option and divide that drive into two separate volumes, one for system and program files and the other for data. The good news is that you can easily set up this configuration using partition-management tools that are available during Vista setup. with no third-party software required.
What happens when you take your PC in for repairs to a major national computer retailer? Despite paying premium prices, you might not get premium service. In fact, as I discovered this week, you might wind up with a PC full of bootleg software and more troubles than you bargained for.
I’m traveling this week with a year-old Tablet PC running a fresh copy of Windows Vista Business, so it’s a good time to focus on some of Vista’s mobility features. In today's Vista Hands On installment, I discuss Vista’s tools for managing wireless connections.
I'll be in Arizona for the next week soaking up sunshine and taking in at least one spring training game. So my posting routine will be even more sporadic than usual.
Looking for real Windows Vista secrets? Everyone knows you can install Windows Vista in evaluation mode for 30 days and reset the countdown timer three times, giving you a free evaluation period of 120 days. The trouble is, you have to remember to type the magic command every 30 days or you're deactivated. Unless you know the real secret, which uses another Windows feature to automate the process. I've got the never-before-published details here.