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"My" Windows Bug

In my review last week of HP's TouchSmart desktop, I complained about a malfunction that kept me from using this computer's FM radio:

I couldn't use the FM radio: The Vista software kept saying I first had to set up the TV tuner, even though I already had.

An HP publicist said this was a Microsoft software issue. A Microsoft PR staffer, in turn, e-mailed me a diagnostic program and asked that I run it on the TouchSmart, then e-mail her the log file it would generate. (The irony of a Microsoft rep asking me to run a program sent via e-mail, even though the company has been telling people not to do that for years, was duly noted.)

Anyway, I downloaded and ran this program, then sent back the log file--all 7 megabytes of it--and waited.

The answer came today in an e-mail from another Microsoft flack: I had found a heretofore unknown bug. (It's unclear if I'll get the software industry's traditional reward for finding a bug, a free T-shirt.)

Apparently, nobody at Microsoft had checked how Windows Vista's Media Center software would work if a user only configured a PC's digital TV tuner--as I'd done in my testing. So to unlock the TouchSmart's FM tuner, I had to set the machine up for analog-TV reception as well; once I did that, the FM radio came to life.

A patch is now being developed to fix this, although Microsoft isn't ready to say when it might ship. Meanwhile, I have to wonder how many other, less-obvious bugs are still lurking in Windows Vista.

By Rob Pegoraro  |  March 6, 2007; 3:32 PM ET
Categories:  Windows  
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