distribute objects on a plain

i got some issues with the particle system. and i have 2 questions:

  1. how do i make objects stand up on the Z axses without rotating the object i wish to distribute
  2. how do i do the same, but with a group of objects

both issues adressed in this video.

Here’s a couple of links from “Blender Mama” that should help:

(Also, be sure to read Ray Tungsteen’s comment at the first link)