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

Everything you've read about Vista DRM is wrong (Part 1)

Self-described "professional paranoid" Peter Gutmann of the University of Auckland has become the most widely quoted source of information on DRM and content protection in Windows Vista. The trouble is, Gutmann's work is riddled with factual errors, distortions, contradictions, and outright untruths, and his conclusions are equally wrong. In this three-part series, I'll show you why Gutmann's outrageous and inflamatory arguments don't stand up to close scrutiny.

September 16, 2007 by

372 Comments

More on HD, DRM, and CPU usage

I've been reporting my experiences with Windows Vista and playback of HD DVD and Blu-ray discs. Several commenters have expressed skepticism over my contention that Windows Vista's DRM didn't come into play at all, and I've also seen some raised eyebrows over my test results involving CPU usage. To put those questions to rest, I dug up an older, slower system without a single HDCP-compatible part. All it takes is a single two-buck part to produce perfect HD playback - at least for now.

September 8, 2007 by

36 Comments

A Blu-ray / HD DVD update

I have a stack of shiny high-def discs, a Windows Vista PC, and a new combo drive that plays both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats. Here's how I went from bare metal to home theater in 60 minutes or less. And the best part of all? No Vista DRM. Yes, you read that right. I've got the details right here.

September 6, 2007 by

83 Comments

Blu-ray, HD DVD, and Vista

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.

August 30, 2007 by

79 Comments

What you can expect in Vista SP1

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.

August 29, 2007 by

57 Comments

My Media Center parts and price list

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.

August 24, 2007 by

16 Comments

Vista Media Center takes over the living room

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.

August 23, 2007 by

258 Comments

We need less whining, more complaining about Vista

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.

August 20, 2007 by

163 Comments

No more Vista whining, please

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.

August 19, 2007 by

190 Comments

Gutmann: "I'm going to ignore" questions about Vista FUD

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?

August 16, 2007 by

164 Comments