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This page contains "bookmarks"
of possible interest to residents of, or visitors to, Morro Bay, CA.
Many of these links have been added in response to reader questions about where
to find something.
The Best Online Photography & Art Degrees by Sandy Rothman
Online photography courses are popping up because they are a convenient way to learn about photography without attending conventional classes. A lot of photography education is learning how to do things and being hands-on with techniques, which means a student can read about photography and then apply that knowledge to projects. Online photography colleges offer certificates, as well as bachelors and masters degrees in photography. For those who have a passion for photography, online photography college can give you the education you need to take your work to the next level. You'll learn everything from editing to enhancing photographs with digital effects. Photography is tech-related now. Gone are the days of sitting in the dark room trying to manipulate an image. Commercial photographers now use computers to do everything from heavily edit photos to networking to reach potential clients.
One of the most frequently asked questions is
"How do I upload and share photos or other large files, for free...?
There are now many free (or low-cost) sites that facilitate
(Note: June, 2006... this is a very fast moving area... information below
may well be obsolete by the time you read this)
visit and try out the following, more or less in order of value (depending on
(Flickr is now the best site for many photographers!)
(Flickr was getting a lot of press as it is now owned and managed by Yahoo! (8-05)) - calls
itself the best online photo management and sharing application in the world -
has two main goals: 1. We want to help people make their photos available to the
people who matter to them. 2. We want to enable new ways of organizing photos.
page. As of 3-06... Yahoo and Flickr are merged... you can now
log into Flickr using your Yahoo ID.... as of 2/07 capacity of 100 MB of upload traffic is allowed per month for free
(5MB per photo) (storage
space is not measured).. views limited to the 200 most recent images. . and you
capacity for a small fee. Only smaller (resized) images accessible (though
the originals are saved in case you upgrade later)
- THIS MAY WELL TURN OUT TO BE ONE OF THE BEST PHOTO SHARING SERVICE!-- <=
This is an excellent service!
Try Google's free
Picasa Web Albums (250 MB free)
You can upload photos at full resolution and get them back the same way - unlike
many other free services. If you run out of space with 250 MB, for $25 a
year you can buy 6GB of storage space. You can see my sample album at
http://picasaweb.google.com/mikebaird/ One slight disadvantage
is that people can figure out your gmail address given such a URL. (Note 10/06: Picasa with the Web Albums feature is
now available to all at picasa.google.com.) Search is surprisingly missing
from Google's Picasaweb service.
(very good) [Note" closes 4/30/08]
Epson allows 100 MB free online picture storage - easy to use - go to
and enter the e-mail address of the account you want to see... try
mike@[remove]mikebaird.com to see an example (remove the "[remove]" before
proceeding) - goes to
Epson is one of the few top sites that allows viewing and saving of photos
at full size.
(January, 2006) Check out the new
photo-sharing services. They're young
companies with interesting "social network" features. Max Levchin, the co-founder of
PayPal, is now CEO of Slide.
Guy Kawasaki, a venture capitalist who wrote the
Engineering Your Start-up,
invested in Filmloop.com. See my sample
- note that you can even synchronize and subscribe via RSS to feeds from this
Slide.com allows you to upload 1000's of full-sized images, and your viewers
can always see the full-sized versions. This is a great service that is
really taking off! (2-06)
fairly good, new and improved 4-05 with drag-and-drop for easy upload of
multiple photos - no storage limit on non-dormant
accounts, URL is easy to determine -- see a sample at
Warning - Unless you want to buy prints, photos as displayed and downloadable
only at the reduced size of 480x360... this is a nasty limitation more
and more free photo sharing sites are using. Yahoo Help says: "Only customers of SBC
Yahoo! and BT Yahoo!
can download full-resolution versions of their photos from their Yahoo!
Photos accounts, via the "Download" button on the large photo view page.
Yahoo! Photos automatically creates 480x360 pixel "screen-size" versions of your
full-resolution photos when you upload them. These images are optimized for
sharing and display in web browsers."
to send photos via e-mail without using explicit attachments - recipient gets a
link to your (again a reduced size 480x360) photo stored (for the next 90 days) on your
site or in a temporary album called PhotoMail uploads. Very handy and
practical but only for casual snapshot sharing. One can try to use the new Print-at-home
feature to download and view the full-original-sized photos stored, but not
otherwise accessible for free) on Yahoo
photo albums... but this is more than a bit obscure for most users, as it
involves "printing" to an Adobe Acrobat Printer (also called Distiller),
creating a .pdf file and not a .jpg in the process!
June 7, 2006... Yahoo
launched a limited beta of a new Yahoo Photos site that lets people download
is expected to launch on Thursday (June 8, 2006) a limited beta of a new Yahoo
Photos site that allows people to download high-resolution photos, tag shots
with descriptors for easy search and comment on other peoples' images. Yahoo has
taken the technical sophistication developed at Flickr to the mass market.
Flickr, which Yahoo acquired more than a year ago, is aimed at professional and
serious hobbyist photographers who want to share their photos with others and
create online communities. Yahoo Photos, ranked by ComScore as the top photo
site with 30 million users worldwide, is targeted at anyone who shoots pictures
and wants a way to store, organize and share them with friends and family.
NEW (July 2006)
Try Tabblo -
my trivial sample site is
Shutterfly service is quite good for casual
sharing of photos - no storage or upload resolution
limitations, easy sharing by invitation or by URL; see my
sample share. Uploading
tools are the best I've ever seen. However, once uploaded, you or your
friends can't view photos except at ~480x320 resolution,
and download any version larger than ~600x400. Shutterfly makes its money
by selling prints.
Download Google's new free
Picasa Photo Organizer
http://www.kodakgallery.com/ (now same as
http://ofoto.com ) also is reported to have great
storage and cheap prints.
See my sample site.
Has drag-and-drop upload... but it also says "we ask
that you make at least one purchase every 12 months to keep the images stored in
your account." As with most free photo-sharing sites, pictures
are re-sized downward, and this is not a good site for sharing large photos
dotPhoto.com -- seems
to allow sharing and downloading of full-sized photos. However, the URL
for easy fie sharing is not clear - try viewing my
Invitations sent from the site seem to be the only practical way to share photos
on most photo sharing sites.
photo.net photography resource
you can upload 100 photos free -
example site here -- this is geared for professional photographers
hpphoto.com (100 MB)
(the only way you can view other photo albums is to
be invited by the album owner) (my
[Note: 8-05, HPPhoto is now
- once high-resolution pictures are uploaded, Snapfish charges $0.49 a photo to
view or download them - they want to sell you prints.]
Buy space at pbase.com for
for 100 MB (for an example, see
Many photo professionals use Pbase
A radical new photo
sharing service is
http://sharealot.com/ (I have not tested this yet... but it "shares to
others' PC automatically using a peer-to-peer network scheme much like Kazaa -
use at your own risk - photos are replicated on the computer of the person
you shared with)
10GB storage free, and 100MB download per month... good for storing and sharing
large pictures, videos...
webshots.com Note: Webshots (once the best and no-brainer recommendation) can no longer be
recommended because, although once the
leader in this field, they have somewhat degraded their service to change, without user
permission, desktop behavior (such as wallpaper, screensavers...) and most
annoyingly, to present deceptive ads like "warning, your PC clock is out of
adjustment" while mimicking a Windows message. Once adapted to their
antics, however, the system really does work quite well, and is widely used.
However, recently (2005), access to full-sized photos (called professional photo
downloads) is severely restricted on the free accounts. Their site says
"Webshots Free members are limited to 5 photo downloads a day. Webshots Premium
members can download all the photos they want." Also, photo storage for
free accounts is limited to 240 photos now. You can try to view
my sample albums (URL may not work - signup probably required).
- where you decide how to store and share your digital photos, order prints and
create unique photo gift. Has very easy drag-and-drop uploading,
good for uploading dozens of large images! However, you lose access
to the high-resolution versions... Polaroid keeps the high-res versions to
fulfill print orders only. Also, sharing requires e-mail based
"invitations" issued from their site - (there is a way around this, but
determining the correct URL is inelegant).
* PolaroidPics shut down effective 9-29-05... what a turbulent
fairly new, limited free space....
my example site
Faces.com is a very nifty photo site - it is oriented towards building a
friendship network, but the upload tool is very good. Sample site at
Adorama (the big photography store) has
a free, yet professional-level service, at
for uploading, sharing, and printing photos... has multiple uploading tools,
including a killer drag-and-drop tool... looks very good on first glance!
Seems to emphasize photo print quality, and will accommodate 30MB images,
including TIFF formats in addition to JPGs. Full size images can't be
viewed online, but they can be downloaded (many photo sharing sites do not allow
downloading the original photos). Sharing albums is through an online
invitation form only.. the "URL" of your album is not obvious. (Try this
test album I made... requires sign-in, and probably will not work for you;
another URL to try which also requires that you establish a free account at
adoramapix.com). In re-testing this site (11-05) I had problems
downloading my original full-sized images.
being praised by the press (2005)... PC Magazine selected Smugmug as the
Editor's Choice for photo sharing, and Maximum PC Magazine gave smugmug the only
9 star rating among photo sharing sites and raved that "Smugmug walks away with
the other guys' lunch." Like many services on the Internet today, you have
to pay something for a decent service...
smugmug.com has a
plan, a $49.95 Power plan, and a $99.95 Pro plan to pick from. Here is a
Note that photos can be viewed and/or saved at any size including the original
is a good place to upload full-resolution photos - useful for linking to thumbnail
pictures in ads, etc.
more... Works well, but subjects viewers to lots of ads... but, what
do you expect for free? Handles images to 1 MB (images up to 3 MB are
re-sized to 1 MB). I suggest that you use a temporary e-mail address
if you decide to optionally "register" ... as the address you use will appear on
a web page presumable reachable by search engines.
My sample one - Risso Dolphin
My sample two - 2005 docent meeting composite
Here are some relatively new photo sites and
services I have yet (10-06) to evaluate (mentioned in
http://www.sharpcast.com/ says "Our desktop organizer backs up your
photos for you, organizes them into web albums, and keeps them in sync so you
don't have to."
http://www.phanfare.com/ says "Online photo and video sharing service
Phanfare, Inc. announces a new single-payment lifetime membership program for
consumers that offers personalized Internet album hosting, sharing (up to 8GB
per month) and archiving of all member photos and videos for life"
* http://snipshot.com/ says
"No download necessary100% browser based, no plug-ins required; Edit big
picturesup to 10 MB, or 5000x5000 pixels; Import PDF (first page only), EPS,
and SVG files; Import pictures from any web site (including Flickr) with our
bookmarklet; Flickr export, or save as GIF, JPG, PDF, PNG, or TIF; Basic editing
tools like crop, rotate, resize, basic image adjustments; Unlimited undo and
redo (Ctrl+Z and Ctrl+Y, or ?Z and ?Y on your Mac); Nondestructive scaling,
rotating, and croppingwe always work from the original."
* http://pxn8.com/ edit images
online in a browser-based photo-editor.
is one of the latest (2006) photo sharing sites. See the
mikebaird example age.
Sending or sharing large files:
- Want to e-mail someone a VERY LARGE attachment?
and your friends will receive a link to your file, which will be uploaded
and stored online for about one week - at no cost. You can send files as large as
100MB (free) to 2GB (not free - several levels-of-service options are now
offered). It takes just seconds to use. Your file will be
stored by YouSendIt
without ever filling up your recipient's mailbox.
YouSendIt will automatically email your recipient a link to your file stored
on their server. This is a proven service.
offers to temporarily host large files, videos, and images -- for free
(ad-based). See a sample site at
http://www.putfile.com/mikebaird (content may expire after six
months) (has 2- 25 MB limits, and restrictions on file types, e.g., no PDFs)
If the above services do not handle your very large file (e.g., 200 MB), try
(I have no experience with them yet)
Use Microsoft's FolderShare
to Transfer Files to 2GB in Size --
Use Microsoft's FolderShare to securely keep files synchronized between your
computers, share files with friends or colleagues, and remotely download
your files from any web browser -
transfer up to 10,000 files up to 2GB in size each (this is sort of like
Professional Photographers use
DigitalRailroad to communicate with clients -
is my personal photo portal linking to my
http://digitalrailroad.net/mikebaird/ -- this is not a free or cheap
Don't like using Yahoo! Groups for group communications? Try using
Be PC safe -- get PC Help (<=extensive help here)
Need a userID and password for occasional access to paid web
Read your e-mail from a browser, away from home, without
worrying about deleting it from your mail server
Have broadband at home, but need occasional Internet access while on the road?
Try dial-up provider
http://myfreei.com/ same as
http://access-4-free.com/ $5 set-up fee, then 10 hours free a month
forever... if you use more than 10 hours in any month, pay $1/hour up to a max
of $10/month. No ads, many access phone numbers. Highly
recommended. OUT OF BUSINESS EFFECTIVE MAY 2005
A solution to e-mail
Outlook 2000/XP and Outlook
Express users can block spam for a small fee -- download SpamNet from
Spam e-mail in Outlook 2000/XP, with SpamNet from
-- this is perhaps the only anti-spam system that actually works --- This
is a prime example of "community power in action."
Outlook 2003 now contains an excellent free "Junk Filter." This catches
almost all the spam that SpamNet traps. Make sure you
Microsoft Office regularly to update the related filter files.
Search the Internet
teoma.com (owned by Ask
alltheweb.com (good for
searching long strings)
a "scientific information" search engine
a banner-free, pop-up free portal and search engine
Dogpile is a good metasearch
engine ("all the best search engines piled into one")
is the latest greatest "yellow pages" service
Very spooky --
search for personal
information about anyone at Spoke (not easy to install and use, but
Finally, a decent way to
search your PC - download Google's just-released
Google Desktop Search
Also, try using our simple
Google search START PAGE
as your home page
Yet another new search engine to try
Medical information - free online:
Search comparison buying sites
in beta testing, had about 6.6 million unique visitors in July
(the top shopping search engine w/ 17.2 million
visitors July 2006)
Yahoo's shopping network (had about 11.1 million
visitors July 2006)
Translate text or a web site
Dictionary -- looks up words you don't know
Free good advice on solving common PC problems
Test your Internet connection speed and
speakeasy.net/speedtest (very good, tests both up and
is a popular and useful speed test (both upload and download
- 10/06 I used to always recommend this site first... I now question the results
here for very high speed connections like Charter's new 10,000 down/1,000 up, as
all the other test sites report higher speeds))
DSLReports speed test (both upload and download) - links to:
are probably the best sites to test upload and download speeds, and measure
other performance factors
DrTCP to set your
Windows XP system for
tweaking parameters such as
Enabling High Performance Data Transfers.
(I found after much experimentation that
251120 or 256960 = the best RWIN setting for Charter's 10Mbps/1Mbps service on
high-end machines... but every machine and application will be different).
Windows Vista (Jan. 2006) Operating system will finally optimize your TCP
settings for you and this will become a non-issue.
test speed test
(can only use three times
a month free)
CNET speed test
giganews.com also lets you test your connection speed
Be PC safe: Run
Norton's free Security and Virus Detection scans;
Install Norton System Works 2004 (Norton Antivirus and Norton Utilities)
Don't open e-mail attachments unless you know what you are doing. Run
PC Pitstop's free security tests
Wireless Internet options
Paso Robles, etc., but not available in Morro Bay) and
(Morro Bay, some locations)
PC Pitstop -- Full
Tests of your PCs performance and security (run often) pcpitstop.com/pcpitstop/
Free security check for Virus problems on your computer
PestPatrol -- a
security and personal privacy tool that detects and eliminates destructive pests
like trojans, spyware, adware and hacker tools.
Search & Destroy
here Spybot - Search & Destroy can detect and remove a multitude of adware files and modules from your
View folder sizes in Windows with
TreeSize (to see where your disk space is being used)
A decent free utility to view, print and manipulate images -- download their IrfavView32
(especially useful to re-size images, and print "best-fit-to-page")
(Only handles one image at a time)
Popular Peer-To-Peer "File Sharing"
(Download absolutely anything, BUT, warning, these are now all major malware/spyware/adware-based systems
-- these services and most of the products they deliver are all filthy with
malware, adware and spyware -- you
should only attempt to install them only cautiously on a second sacrificial PC
that you are willing to have to re-format soon)
Welcome To KaZaA and The World Of P2P (warning major spyware/adware-based
"KaZaA Lite" used to be a "safe" version of KaZaA but has been banned from the
(It was much better, with no embedded adware or spyware - but now its
untested by me, and no longer free)
grokster.com Next Generation File
Sharing; (warning major spyware/adware-based
Morpheus (warning major spyware/adware-based system)
Reading (including some controversial
items intended to open your eyes; many of these items were recommended by
visitors to morro-bay.com)
Newsstand.com "Delivering the EXACT digital reproduction of the print
a free and open educational resource for faculty, students, and
self-learners around the world. OCW supports MIT's mission to advance knowledge
and education, and serve the world in the 21st century. It is true to MIT's
values of excellence, innovation, and leadership.
one of the Web's oldest and largest digital libraries (free)
PC World magazine
Maximum Pc magazine
Digital Camera magazine
Armed Forces of Colombia People's Army
looking for the end to state terrorism, the
injustices, inequalities, unemployment and the humiliation before US imperialism
... we call upon the US to legalize narcotics consumption...
... constructing the paths toward the New Colombia
Cocker Spaniel lovers see
for Kayak enthusiasts
your Schitt (humor) more at twistedhumor.com (<
link removed 6-04; <= warning, ".exe" downwards from twistedhumor.com source
site now contain adware changes to your search functions - no longer worth the
theonion.com The Onion (satire)
Funny Report on New Economy and Dot Com Bombs
Helen, Sweetheart of the Internet
(funny items, like tech-support
annoy.com free speech
Legends snopes.com (don't believe everything you see on the Internet)
The Red Herring ("tech
Standard ("tech capital")
(very intense and offensive...no endorsement implied)
Top 101 Web Sites
InstaPundit (Internet's most popular Blog)
Top 10 uncool web sites
cartoons and games
SOME NEW AND UNUSUAL COMICS
User Friendly by Frazer
* Urban Legends Reference Pages
Does a Ford
SportKa commercial show a cat being decapitated by a sunroof?
Shiori Matsumoto Painting Art Gallery
Weekly -- In Celebration of the Individual
Air America Radio (a liberal talk radio station
* Rick Klau's weblog
* Read the
Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest
World News Network
* Bongo News Satire,
Parody, Jokes -- Formerly Garlic - The stinky newspaper
* The Drudge Report
* photo.net photography resource
upload 100 photos free -
* Keep up-to-date on PC technology -
* CNet's news.com
wikipedia.org an open-content
Watch Public Service video broadcasts from C-SPAN
manipulated images- some outstanding
kunst.relativeert.nl artist's website
upload and share photos to
example - geared for professional photographers --
cool photos of the week
Unconventional Wisdom Since 1865
* technorati.com says "Technorati brings you whats happening
on the web right now"
is a daily humor publication
The group blog
lets people reveal their innermost thoughts in often poignant
mock postcards that add up to a
community art project
http://www.pandora.com/ Plug in the name of your favorite bands and
get radio customized for you
http://gigaom.com/ A personal weblog where Om Malik
ruminates about broadband and its impact on our lives and other things technical
Business 2.0 Blog. What Works. What
300,000 topics, from
ZIP code such as
wikiHow is a collaborative
writing project to build the world's largest how-to manual
The Gadgets Weblog
PCSTATS provides guides that detail many facets of modern
computer use. Their "Beginners
Guides" are especially recommended.
http://blogs.forbes.com/digitaldownload/ says Not enough time in the week to
keep track of the latest and greatest developments in the tech world? ... we
crawl the Web, dig into the news and bring you the
Digital Download, a blog
dedicated to the day's must-read tech stories. It tackles a wide variety of
subjects: enterprise computing, consumer electronics, academic research and much
"access to people, personalities and
americanchronicle.com an interesting news aggregation site
nationalist-conservative politics group, news, humor & more" has among other
things, interesting videos at
http://theync.com/pastmedia.shtml - the good stuff in the site is
unfortunately littered with annoying ads and right-wing crap
Rainy day viewing -
images" and "image
Meet the Press
anytime, Sundays after 1PM ET
Digital Download, a blog
dedicated to the day's must-read tech stories
to keep up-to-date on technology issues related to home
computing and consumer electronics
PCSTATS provides guides that detail many facets of modern computer use.
Guides" are especially recommended.
The Smoking Gun exposes cool, confidential, quirky documents that can't be
found elsewhere on the Web.
Arianna Huffington's liberal blog (hot)
on Indian company up2u.in
"Steal this magazine" has free pirated .pdf versions of many
- this can't last. Spotbit.com has been up about a week
(as of 5-17-06), and is offering PDF downloads of over 150 magazines.
Penthouse, Scientific American, etc. -- SpotBit calls itself "the Free
e-Magazine Archieve" <= That's the site's spelling. SpotBit carries a tiny
notice that ingeniously says "If the copyright of any magazine belongs to you, contact us
and we'll remove it!"
- these web sites may compromise your PC - unconfirmed reports of LAN
routers being punched open after visiting these pages...
offers High-Definition TV on your PC, for free (with ads).
http://www.woostercollective.com/ Street Art graffiti --
Collective was founded in 2001.
This site is dedicated to showcasing and
celebrating ephemeral art placed on streets in cities around the world.
delivers many cartoons to one page daily - magic of sorts
The Christian Science
Monitor has good balanced news and opinion coverage.
* HopeDance hopedance.org
reports on the outrageous, pioneering and inspiring activities of outstanding
individuals and organizations who are creating a new world -- regardless of
their spiritual tradition or political agenda -- "Radical Solutions inspiring
Middle East Media Research
explores the Middle East through the region's media. MEMRI bridges the
language gap which exists between the West and the Middle East, providing timely
translations of Arabic, Persian, and Turkish media, as well as original analysis
of political, ideological, intellectual, social, cultural, and religious trends
in the Middle East. Founded in February 1998 to inform the debate over
U.S. policy in the Middle East, MEMRI is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit,
501 (c)3 organization. Has good translated videos you
will not see on Western TV. The
project archive currently includes clips from the following sources and TV
guests: Sources: Al-Arabiya TV (Dubai), Dubai TV (Dubai), Dream2 TV (Egypt),
Channel 1 TV (Egypt), Palestinian Authority TV (Gaza), Al-'Alam TV (Iran), Sahar
TV (Iran), Jaam-E-Jam TV (Iran), IRINN (Iran), New TV (Lebanon), Al-Manar TV
(Lebanon), MBC TV (London), Al-Jazeera TV (Qatar), Qatar TV (Qatar), Iqra TV
(Saudi Arabia), Channel 1 TV (Saudi Arabia), Syrian TV (Syria), Al-Majd TV
(United Arab Emirates). TV Guests: Islamic clerics and leaders, Arab and Iranian
journalists and editors (working in the Middle East and the West), academics and
researchers, public opinion and policy makers, politicians (parliamentarians and
government officials), military experts, intellectuals, and authors.
* Another unrelated source of
overseas videos, never shown on Western TV, which features interviews of
captured journalists by terrorists, IED explosions in Iraq, extremely graphic
and offensive executions, etc. is
ogrish.com (link suppressed intentionally)
-- not to be visited by the squeamish.
Warning, Ogrish and LiveLeak content is extremely intense and offensive to many
- do not visit this site if you have any question about its suitability for you
- must be 18 years old to enter. Note: 11-06, ogrish is now
(link suppressed intentionally)
Entertainment, Personal, Creative, Work-related, Misc.)
Uncensored from Israel...
debka.com (a website
run by former Israeli intelligence officials).
Tech Tuesday to keep up-to-date on technology issues related to home
computing and consumer electronics.
delivers many cartoons to one page daily - magic of sorts
Looking for some beautiful photos - Check out
Reading continued - the below are finance-related
Henry Blodgett's back and he's
Henry was one
of the Internet's most notorious figures and Merrill Lynch's Internet
analyst at the top of the bubble -- later disciplined over conflicts of interest
DVD rental service - beats driving to Blockbuster, 3 out-at-a-time now < $20/mo.
Best and most popular service... highly recommended.
filmcaddy.com (Blockbuster's weaker attempt to compete with Netflix,
4 out-at-a-time $20/mo., but longer delivery times, weak interface)
Have good bandwidth? you can now rent movies online at
Self-publish and print-on-demand
LuLu.com (started in
2002) is getting a lot
of publicity (2005,
2006) as a self-publishing vehicle, and is rapidly growing (91,000+
professionally bound books were published through Lulu in January 2006,
nearly three times the 35,500 books the site produced in August 2005.
Sales are running at about $1 million a month but growing at an
extraordinary clip of 10 percent monthly, said founder Bob Young.). Read their
http://www.lulu.com/about/ page which says in part "Lulu
is the web's premier independent publishing marketplace for digital
do-it-yourselfers. It's the only place on the web where you can publish,
sell and buy any and all things digital books, music, comics, photographs,
movies and well, you get the idea. We simply provide the tools that leave
control of content in the hands of the people who created the content. You
see, Lulu is a technology company, not a publisher. So you can use Lulu to
publish and sell any kind of digital content, and no one here is going to
ask you to change anything. Ever. Your vision is entirely YOURS." There is
no set-up fee and no minimum order to publish and sell on Lulu. We manage
the online business, including printing, delivery and customer service. You
set your own royalty for each piece of content, and at the end of each
quarter, we'll mail you a check for the royalties your content generates.
Lulu makes a small percentage from each transaction, which means that we
only make money if you succeed in selling your work." LuLu
was founded by Bob Young, who might be better known as the co-founder of Red Hat
open source software company. See my sample Lulu storefront at
http://www.lulu.com/mikebaird to e.g.,
a photo at
http://www.lulu.com/content/164274 and a
PowerPoint presentation at
In fact, many smaller publishers now use LuLu for all their printing and
distribution services. "Self-published" and "Vanity" press authors
should not confuse "getting a publisher" with printing, distribution, and
Before LuLu, I recommended the following two services, which still might be
right for you.
(Note: in early 2006 I noticed that the "Global Distribution Service"
(since renamed "Published by Lulu...") at LuLu,
which gets you an
number and distribution through the wholesale channels like
Ingram Book Group,
was not offered for books with color illustrations. This was a major
disappointment for certain kinds of works, like CA State Park ecologist
Walgren's popular local nature books; In November 2006 I notice
that wholesale distribution of color books is now supported in the
8.5"x11" and 8.5"x8.5" formats).
As further proof that the print-on-demand self-publishing market is growing,
a new player -- called Blurb (
) -- became a competitor to Lulu on May 3, 2006.
Pricing and mechanics differ at Lulu and Blurb, though the basic process
is similar. At Lulu, authors upload their material as preformatted,
printer-ready files and then tweak them online. Blurb offers offline
formatting by providing special software that authors download and use to
lay out text and images. For now (May 2006), Blurb offers only
full-color hardcovers starting at $30 for 40 pages, each 8 by 10 inches.
Prices rise to $35 for 80 pages and $80 for 400 pages. Paperbacks will be
coming soon, along with templates for different genres, including novels and
text-only manuscripts. Lulu offers far more choices, including
text-only formats, paperbacks that start at less than $9 and color books at
less than $35.
to... Xlibris is top-quality self-publishing. It is not free,
but the services rendered are excellent.
Bay resident Freeman Hall produced a book using Xlibris.
One chief difference between the newer services Blurb and Lulu, and the
older services Xlibris and iUniverse, is that Xlibris and iUniverse charge
authors up-front fees, which makes publishing through them more expensive.
- Not necessarily recommended, and definitely not a
brand presence, printmybookonline.com is local
to Morro Bay (being in Los Osos, CA) and might be worth your investigation.
(Note: 3-28-06 Oops, printmybookonline.com now seems to be out of
commission, the domain owner is spotlightprinting.com).
- Compare the above services that can reward the author
with most of the profits, with, for example,
might be thought of as self-publishing vanity press
options with an online twist. If you do most of the work and take all
of the financial risk, you should get most of the rewards.
- If you can sell your book proposal to a recognized
traditional publisher (this may be much more difficult than writing the book
itself), who will make a significant investment in you, in improving your
product, and in marketing your book.. that is usually preferable... but the
fact is that most books, especially those written by first-time authors, and
books written for smaller niche markets, do not have the potential financial
return-on-investment needed to make them candidates for traditional
print-on-demand publisher was acquired by amazon.com in 2005 and should
be given serious consideration for "author initiated publishing". They
have good distribution services, inc. for color books... Pricing example, a
60 page, full color, 8.25"x11.75" book would retail for $25.99 and be
printed on 80# white paper using 4-color
their Author's Express Publishing Program - Full Color - $299 (gets you an
ISBN and distribution)... trim size no smaller than 4" width x 6" height, no
larger than 8.25" width x 10.5 height.
another newer Amazon property (see BookSurge above) that facilitates
self-publishing print-on-demand books (new), CDs, and DVDs (previously).
for book publishing just came to my attention in January 2008. "The
CreateSpace Book on Demand program is a self-service, do-it-yourself online
tool that allows you to upload your ready-for-printing PDF book files and
make your trade paperback book(s) available for sale online." With
this service you get an ISBN and marketing and sales at Amazon.com.
Depending on your project and personal computer skills, CreateSpace should
be seriously considered in place of Lulu or Blurb (two services I highly
Submit free press releases
FREE PDF Creation Programs:
software, you can view and print Adobe PDF files... but to create
PDF files, you need...
With pdf995 and
Win2PDF you can create PDF documents for free
* CutePDF (http://www.cutepdf.com/)
is a free PDF-creation program
PDF Creator is installed as a printer driver. To create a PDF, open your
document, then print to the PDF Creator "printer." The result is a PDF
* Also, Adobe offers an online subscription service that allows you to pay a
small fee to turn a set number documents into PDF files (http://createpdf.adobe.com)
(A special note for LuLu.com users wanting to make free PDFs... see
read this FAQ compiled by Lulu PowerPoster Don Campbell:
Read and print PowerPoint documents
free PowerPoint Viewer
With this release, the Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer 97 supports PowerPoint 95, 97 and certain aspects of PowerPoint 2000 and 2002 files. This viewer allows people who use PowerPoint to share their presentations with people who do not have PowerPoint installed on their computers.
current program (archives)
Daily commentary on the stock market
Higher-yielding alternatives to
Certificates of Deposit:
investments in liquid money
market type "Demand Notes," and $1000
Ford Motor Financial
money market accounts
fixed-rate notes (details)
Links to financial sites
ASAP can make copies of just about any document
Bay-stuff on eBay
Buy Prescription drugs online: (related article by
- With a USA Rx (note: I have no personal
experience with the following companies... they are listed as a courtesy only)
- Without a USA Rx (Note: effective early 2005
the US government was cracking down hard on these businesses and their
customers - no longer recommended) (*these were proven
performers), even for
Schedule IV controlled substances such as
Ambien or Stilnox (Zolpidem)
access anecdotal information on the effectiveness of various medications
Their site says "All products sold are classified as non-controlled medicine
within Mexico (meaning you can walk into any pharmacy and buy our products
without a prescription)... to be used to acquire medicine at discount
prices. It is legal to order medicines from Mexico and have them shipped to
you as long as you are ordering medicine for your own personal use. All
products sold are FDA approved... We are not running over the border from
the United States into Mexico and purchasing medicine and carrying it back
across the border to put it in the mail to our customers. All products are
sent from our offices within Mexico City, all products are sent thru customs
and available for inspection by customs. The return label on the package you
receive is the exact location of where it is being sent from." (No Rx
required; believed to be reliable based on some Internet postings only -
signature may be required on delivery)
Assisted Living & Nursing Homes --
Research, facilities... (SLO, Morro
Digital Camera Reviews:
The new (2003)
Canon Digital Rebel EOS-300D (steves-digicams
review is excellent)
is a 6.3 MP sub-$1000 SLR camera and a top pick in this price range.
"Most Important Camera of 2003 Award"
(Note: The Canon EOS 300D, Kiss Digital and Digital Rebel are
the same camera)
froogle price comparison
CANON 100-400IS EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM with Image Stabilizer a
$1,400 killer lens for this camera
Canon EF 75-300 F/4.0-5.6 IS USM for Canon-AF Camera ~$430
Lexar Media 2 GB 40X CompactFlash Card Pro(CF2GB-40-380) ~$580 (Get 45X if
possible) - camera comes with no CF card
Canon Speedlite 420EX Flash for Canon EOS & Digital SLR Cameras ~$180
Nikon Coolpix 5700
Dimage 7Hi 5.2MP
Canon EOS D60 6MP Digital Camera 35MM SLR very nice (>$2,000)
(comparable to Canon D60)
-- check price listings on comparison-shopping sites like
digital-cameras-info.com is a site a friend likes
the Alexa Toolbar
for a whole new browsing experience (warning -
Democracy in Action -- MoveOn is working to bring ordinary people back
into politics... Pursuing "great goals for our nation"
Personal "fun" reading page
Take a free
answers to science questions --
depending on your
a good source for hard-to-find quality travel items (discounted Tilley
hats, money belts, shoulder wallets, Pocket Socks...
Record TV on your PC like a TiVo from
http://snapstream.com/ Beyond TV 3
Google language and translation tools
Zazzle.com is the place to go to order custom T-shirts, posters
Free Legal Help
online for low-income Californians
Want to e-mail someone a VERY LARGE attachment?
Just go to
and your friends will receive a link to your file, which will be uploaded
and stored online for one week - at no cost. You can send files as large as
1GB. No registration is required. (warning, obnoxious misleading ads
appear on this site)
Nolo Press has all
sorts of do-it-yourself legal advice... including...
Using Works in the Public Domain
including "If You Want to Use Material on the Internet," and
Getting Permission to Publish: Ten Tips for Webmasters
When Copying Is Okay: The "Fair Use" Rule