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

Vista Hands On #11: Manage partitions during setup

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.

March 13, 2007 by

47 Comments

A WGA success story

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.

March 9, 2007 by

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Vista Hands On #10: Manage wireless networks

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.

March 7, 2007 by

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Vista Hands On #9: Use Vista for four months, free

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.

March 1, 2007 by

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Vista Hands On #8: Delay activation

Every copy of Windows Vista requires activation, and the default settings will do it automatically three days after you complete Setup. If you're not ready to make that commitment, here's how to disable automatic activation and use Vista risk-free for its full evaluation period.

February 27, 2007 by

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Vista WGA problems confirmed

I've seen Vista's new WGA problems up close and personal, and I've got the screenshots to prove it. Why are some programs able to convince Windows that the operating system has been tampered with? Why is Windows Defender allowing them to do it? And what can you do if you're caught in the crosshairs?

February 26, 2007 by

292 Comments

Problems arise with Vista's validation

Microsoft announced its new anti-piracy measures for Windows Vista last fall with an assurance that its tight integration into the operating system would reduce the number of false positives. But its own message boards tell a different story, with at least four third-party applications now known to cause validation problems and even outright activation failures.

February 25, 2007 by

89 Comments

A brief history of anti-piracy at Microsoft

I’m revisiting Microsoft’s Genuine Advantage program this week, in light of the introduction of a new WGA Notifications tool for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. As background, I thought it might be interesting to post a brief history of how Microsoft’s anti-piracy programs have evolved over the past 25 years.

February 24, 2007 by

17 Comments

Son of WGA

Microsoft has just released an update to its Windows Genuine Notifications software for Windows XP and other pre-Vista platforms. Last summer's WGA release was a horror show; will the sequel be kinder to customers?

February 23, 2007 by

19 Comments