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

Busting the FUD about Vista's DRM

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.

August 13, 2007 by

262 Comments

The Vista RAM puzzle: Is 2GB enough?

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?

August 13, 2007 by

111 Comments

A confusing (but harmless) hotfix error message

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.

August 8, 2007 by

2 Comments

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