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

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


Day 3 with a new Dell and Vista

I’m documenting my experience with a new Dell C521 running Windows Vista. After an initial glitch that requires an onsite service call from Dell, I'm back in business. Today's goal is to stress-test the machine using a selection of real-world applications and see how it performs under fire. How much can a $500 PC handle before it falters? The answer even surprised me.

June 14, 2007 by


Day 2 with a new Dell and Vista

I’m documenting my experience with a new Dell C521 that arrived last week. Day 1 was uneventful, as I unpacked the pieces, backed up the original hard drive and replaced it with a new larger drive, and installed a few updates. Well, uneventful except for the BIOS update I left running overnight… On Day 2, I get to put Dell's support to the test as the system is completely unresponsive.

June 12, 2007 by


Day 1 with a new Dell and Vista

The UPS guy just showed up with a new Dell. I’ve done clean installs and upgrades, but this is the first factory-equipped Vista PC I’ve set up for long-term use. I’ve read plenty of complaints about Vista performance and compatibility, so I’m anxious to see how this one stacks up and what happens to it over time. Day 1 was going just fine until someone suggested updating the BIOS...

June 11, 2007 by


Microsoft's licensing mess

If you've been selling a product for more than 10 years and you've shipped hundreds of millions of units, you'd think your customers would know what they're buying. For Microsoft, that's not the case. The culprit is the hopelessly confusing, practically Byzantine Windows licensing structure, which consists of a maze of terms and conditions that define (and ultimately restrict) what you can do with Microsoft Windows in your home or business. I've identified five problems with Windows licensing. If you think they don't affect you, think again.

June 7, 2007 by


On the road with Windows Vista

I’m away on vacation this week, nearly 7,000 miles from home. But I’m not out of touch. After five years of lugging a Windows laptop around Europe, it’s instructive to see just how much the experience of world travel has changed because of the spread of computing technology and improvements in Windows.

May 15, 2007 by


Vista Home Basic on 512MB? Hey, it works!

Windows Vista is a resource hog, right? Everyone says it doesn’t even get out of first gear without a gigabyte of RAM, and it takes 2 GB before it stops stuttering and stammering with each mouse click. That’s what I keep reading on the Internet, so it must be true. I had steeled myself for pitiful performance when I yanked all but 512MB out of my test system last week and downgraded to Vista Home Basic. But guess what? It worked. In fact, I was impressed with how well Vista ran on this barebones system.

May 9, 2007 by

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Microsoft's hidden diagnostic tool unlocks Vista startup secrets

Are you having performance problems with Windows Vista? You don't need a stopwatch to find the cause. Vista's onboard monitors are constantly recording information about performance and storing it in the new, greatly expanded event logs. None of these details are documented anywhere, which is why I sat down with a group of Microsoft engineers to unravel the mystery.

May 4, 2007 by

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