People ask me questions all the time. I figured it would be good to have a good repository for them.

Copyrighting Your Work

My cousin Nick wants to know:

My question is about copywriting my pictures. To my knowledge every picture I make or take is copywrited just because I did it. I was wondering if putting “all images copyright john doe 2008” on the bottom of every page of my website would cover me, or do I need to do something else?
And should I copyright them to my name or my website? (“copyright john doe 2008” or “copyright 2008”)

Note: Don’t forget that I am not a lawyer (IANAL). These are merely my understandings and thoughts.

Under current United States laws, anything you make is automatically copyrighted. Additionally, you can submit your work to the United States Copyright Office for a fee, however I have never done this and don’t think it’s worthwhile.

To my knowledge, adding the “All images copyrighted by…” phrase does not offer any additional legal protection. If you were to add the phrase, I would use your name, since that’s the legal entity that owns the copyright.

I’d also like to take a second to mention something called Creative Commons. Almost all 10,000 of my photos and most of my blog is released under a Creative Commons license. Creative Commons allows you to retain the copyright, however it lets others use your work with specific requirements.

For example, most of my work is released under a By-Attribution, Share-Alike, Non-commercial license. This means that anyone is allowed to use my photos as long as it’s for non-commercial work (i.e. they can’t make money off of it), if they modify my work they must share it under a similar license, and they must attribute me.

I’d suggest you take a look at:

I hope that helps and let me know if you have any more questions.


Blogging: WordPress vs. Blogger

  • Answers

A good friend from college asks:

I’m thinking of starting a blog. (Not sure how good of an idea this is but whatever, it’s an idea.) I was shopping around the different platforms and was wondering what your take is on them. You obviously use WordPress, why? What about Blogger? Any insight would be great as they both look to be about the same to me, having not used either.

Blogging, for me, is a great place to offload stuff from my mind and I find that’s it’s particularly helpful for the ADHD in me.

As for different platforms, a quick overview:

  • There is WordPress, which, as you pointed out, is what I use. You can host WordPress yourself of have them host it for you for free (
  • The main competitor to WordPress is actually MovableType, which is free to download and host yourself, but you have to pay $5/mo to have them host it for you (
  • Blogger is the lite weight version of blogging. It’s backed by Google and does pretty well. You can’t host it yourself, but it is free to use.

From this point on, the differences are more or less semantic. I like WordPress because it’s completely open source, they have a great community of developers that are constantly evolving the platform and making it better. The hosted (free) version of WordPress is very full featured, but not overwhelming. I particularly like that the URLs are date/title formatted. For example:, would have been posted on April 22,d 2008 with the title “The World is Just Awesome.” I also like the commenting system much better in WordPress compared to Blogger.

I don’t know much about Blogger because I haven’t investigated for a while now, however I do know that hosted (free) WordPress has lots and lots of themes that you can choose from.

Going down the features list now:

  • WordPress has a pretty spiffy tagging system (in addition to the traditional catagories) that I think are a superior form of content labeling.
  • This shouldn’t be a huge deal for you, but WordPress has (in my opinion) the best comment spam protection system.
  • You can have pages in addition to posts. Pages are basically the same as posts, execpt that they live outside of the normal hierarchy.
  • No advertisments.
  • Statistics. It’s nice knowing who your readers are and how many of them. WordPress stats are pretty full featured and very helpful.

I think you also get something like 5GB (yes, that’s gigabytes) of space to upload content. And of course, I use it. Which not only means that WordPress is the best ;), but that I can also help you out more if you ever need it.

Hope that helps.


Printing Photos on Flickr

My friend’s mom asks:

I need some technical advice. Liz has posted her photos on Flickr…I would like to create an old-fashioned paper album/scrapbook…[but] of course, I don’t know how to download those photos so I can print them out. Could you please tell me now to do that?

I think the easiest way is to print them at Target and pick them up (which is what I did); you can have them mailed to you. The alternative is to print them out yourself, but you’d need to have a photo-quality printer and photo paper and even then I’m pretty sure it ends up being a little bit more expensive to print them yourself once you factor in the cost of ink and photo paper.

I’m going to continue based on the assumption that you want to print them at Target. If you don’t just let me know and I can send you an alternative set of instructions to print them yourself.

It’s actually pretty easy once you get going, although there’s a bit of a learning curve. I’m also coordinating with Liz because she has to make a small change to her preferences1 on Flickr to allow other people to print the photos.

Once Liz has updated her settings, the first thing you’ll want to do is sign in to Flickr. If you don’t have an account, you’ll need to make one.

Once that’s done, navigate to Liz’s Flickr page and click on the first photo you want to print.

Just above the picture will be an option that says “Prints & More”. Click that and a drop down menu will appear. There will be options for “4×6″, 5×7″, 8×10″, and Wallet Prints. It also may say”4xD”, 5xD”, 8xD” instead and that’s okay too. The ‘D’ just means the photos were taken with a digital camera and the print may not be exactly 4×6 (or what have you).

In any event, select the quantity of that picture you want in what ever size(s) you want and click “ADD TO CART” and then click “CONTINUE BROWSING.” Repeat the process for all the pictures you want to print.

When you’re done, click the shopping cart icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen. You’ll have a chance to review what’s in your cart and to select a Target store to pick the photos up at or type in your address for mail delivery. Click “CHECK OUT” and follow the directions and you’re all set.

1 To allow other people to print your photos, change your settings by:

  1. Log into Flickr
  2. Go to:
  3. Select: “Any Flickr Member” from the drop down box
  4. Click “Save”

Copy files from your iPod to your computer

My friend Jason asks:

how can i transfer music off an ipod that isn’t registered to my computer into my itunes?

I know nobody would ever use this to steal music, so don’t. But to get your own music back, I made a video to show you how:


Dual-Boot Vista and XP or …?

I recently had a question asked of me. Here are the basics:

Needed a new laptop for school.
Laptop came with Windows Vista, but need Windows XP to run Application X (inability to do this is a show stopper)

There are really three options here:

  1. Buy the laptop with XP installed. Yes, you can still do this with many companies (including Dell).
  2. If don’t need Vista, just run XP by itself.
  3. If you already have Vista on your machine and want to install XP on it, setup a dual boot: Lifehacker links to ProNetworks which has a step-by-step guide. Either way, you’ll need to get copy of VistaBootPro (which is free!)

How do I get the cent sign in a microsoft program?

There is a program called Character Map (Click Start | Run | Type “charmap” and press Enter). It lets you select special characters and copy them to the clipboard. It also gives you the alternate shortcut, which for the cent sign you press ALT + 0162 (Note: the numbers need to be typed using the numpad, NOT the numbers above the keyboard).

Or you can just copy this:

[tags]character map, charmap, cent[/tags]