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 #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

The Vista driver outlook gets a little brighter

I’ve been watching for the past six months as PC hardware makers deliver updated drivers to make their products work with Windows Vista. Lately, the trickle has turned into a steady stream, with some high-volume hardware companies delivering solid 32- and 64-bit updates. But there are still some rough edges to deal with.

July 5, 2007 by

79 Comments

Vista isn't Me2, it's Win95 + 12 years

The similarities between Vista and Windows 95 are striking: Unachievable levels of hype; a long and public beta; initial compatibility, performance, and stability problems. If history repeats itself, Microsoft will release its next Vista update in 2009 or 2010 and it will be greeted as finally delivering on the promise of what Vista should have been all along.

June 28, 2007 by

249 Comments

Has Dell kicked the crapware habit?

In the fourth installment of my series on setting up a new Dell consumer PC running Windows Vista Home Premium, I roll up my sleeves and start looking for crapware to zap. Surprisingly, there's almost none to be found, and Dell has created a simple automated routine to uninstall the handful of programs included with this PC. Have consumers won the war against crapware?

June 20, 2007 by

107 Comments

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

14 Comments

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

176 Comments

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

73 Comments

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

61 Comments