Sending faxes on cable

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Paul U, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. Paul U

    Paul U Guest

    Running XP SP2 with Outlook Express 6 on Virginmedia cable broadband.

    Is there any recommended free method of sending faxes, instead of signing up
    with efax or popfax etc?? I imagine someone has invented freeware to do
    this.
     
    Paul U, Apr 3, 2008
    #1
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  2. Paul U

    Alex Clayton Guest

    XP has the ability to send a fax, or at least it claims to. In mine it's
    under start, all programs, accessories, communication. It will open a wizard
    to send a fax. I had tried it a while back, and gave up before I finished,
    and just dug out my old fax machine. It will supposedly work though if you
    want to play around with it.
     
    Alex Clayton, Apr 3, 2008
    #2
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  3. They call it a multi-function printer.

    Buy a printer with fax capability, and you can print to any fax machine
    anywhere. The trouble with fax is that it uses telephone lines, and this
    requires dialiing, and connecting over a telephone line. You can e-mail a
    file for free ...
     
    Jeff Strickland, Apr 3, 2008
    #3
  4. Paul U

    Paul U Guest


    Yes, the problem is that we don't have a phone line attached to the
    computer, which is on cable broadband, so the standard XP gizmo doesn't
    work.

    Our old fax machine gave up the ghost many years ago, and new ones are
    expensive.

    My better half sends occasional faxes on behalf of Amnesty who, for reasons
    best known to themselves, only give fax numbers, not e-mail addresses.
     
    Paul U, Apr 3, 2008
    #4


  5. Expensive? I just looked at one newspaper ad and found an all-in-one for
    $130, actually shopping for a device may turn up one that is priced at under
    $100. Copy, scan, fax, and print all in one device. When it runs out of ink,
    buy another one.

    Amnesty might want to avoid getting a virus sent to them, a fax is far safer
    in this respect.
     
    Jeff Strickland, Apr 3, 2008
    #5
  6. Paul U

    Paul U Guest

    Everything's relative. Early retirement and living on a pension has its
    drawbacks.

    I certainly couldn't afford, economically or environmentally, to invest in
    planned obsolescence.
     
    Paul U, Apr 4, 2008
    #6
  7. Paul U

    Neil Green Guest

    Your only option is to subscribe to a fax service
    which will convert email or web to fax and send them
    for you, for a fee of course.
    Some are cheaper than others.
     
    Neil Green, Apr 4, 2008
    #7

  8. In today's paper, there is a fax machine that is free. Surely you have room
    in the budget to float a mail-in-rebate for a couple of weeks.

    In any case, you must have a telephone line to send a fax. While it is
    possible these days to make a phone call over the internet from your
    computer to a phone or to another computer, they do not support fax
    capability with this technology yet.

    And, you ought not be concerned jwith the planned obsolescence because if
    the machine is used to send but not receive, the ink will last forever.
     
    Jeff Strickland, Apr 4, 2008
    #8

  9. Couldn't he get a fax modem for the computer to facilitate the dial-out?
    Then, all he would need is to generate the documents he wants to send, and
    select the Fax Printer at print time. He would have to scan documents into
    the computer, or create them with his favorite application, then when it
    comes time to print, select the Fax from the drop down list of printers. The
    modem does the dialing and sending.

    This assumes he has wired phone service, of course.

    The broadband connection still provides the internet connection, but the
    dial up cability is used to support fax -- if he does it right, it will
    support both sending and receiving. And, a fax modem is very cheap.
     
    Jeff Strickland, Apr 4, 2008
    #9
  10. Have you thought about installing a fax modem in your computer?

    You are used to the modem providing the dial up internet that has been
    replaced by a broadband connection, but many modems also provide fax
    capability. You select the fax at print time -- open a file, make the
    desired edits and print, then select Fax as the printer. The modem grabs the
    phone line, makes the connection, then drops the line when finished. The
    broadband is never affected.

    The modem will also monitor the phone line for incoming faxes, and store
    them as a file(s) on your machine. You open the stored file and print if
    desired, or simply read on screen.

    I'm not sure, but a 56K Fax modem should cost about $20. You might already
    have a modem in your machine, and just need to plug the wire in.
     
    Jeff Strickland, Apr 4, 2008
    #10
  11. Paul U

    Neil Green Guest

    Indeed, and that's what I use here from time to time
    when I need to send a fax.
    I have an old 14400 baud external modem which I got
    free, but which is fast enough for faxes, and I find
    the Windows software more than adequate.
    I think I have a couple of internal 56k modems around
    somewhere as well.
    The OP's problem lies here:
    "Yes, the problem is that we don't have a phone line
    attached to the computer, which is on cable broadband,
    so the standard XP gizmo doesn't work."
    I know several people who no longer have a landline,
    and use either a mobile phone or voice over IP, maybe
    Paul U is one of them.
     
    Neil Green, Apr 5, 2008
    #11
  12. He didn't say he had no land line, he only said it was not plugged into his
    computer. He did say that he once had a fax, but it stopped working, this
    implies the probablility of a phone line that is available but not connected
    to the computer.
     
    Jeff Strickland, Apr 5, 2008
    #12
  13. Paul U

    Paul U Guest

    We do have a landline, but no outlets close to where the (desktop-type)
    computer is located.

    However, it looks as if we'll have to a) run extension cable, b) use
    www.jfax.com or an equivalent or c) run down to the local chemist's shop and
    use their fax!

    I believe you can send text messages to mobile phones from a computer using
    the e-mail system. I was just surprised that there is no direct equivalent
    for faxes.
     
    Paul U, Apr 5, 2008
    #13
  14. Paul U

    Neil Green Guest

    For a fee, yes.
    There are.
     
    Neil Green, Apr 5, 2008
    #14
  15. Paul U

    Wilson Guest

    sometime in the recent past Neil Green posted this:
    Just don't look for the fax software in Vista unless you have Ultima.
    Doesn't come with Basic or Premium. Vista isn't an upgrade unless you sell
    software, then it's a great boon to business as folks have to replace half
    of what they've owned.

    WTF ever happened to 'backwards compatibility' Billy boy?
     
    Wilson, Apr 5, 2008
    #15

  16. A text message is more like email than a fax. The technology is completely
    different.

    A fax is sent line by line, not letter by letter. A fax is scanned and the
    data collected is sent the same way it is collected. A line of data is not a
    character-high line, it is a dot-high line. The fax does not know what the
    arrangement of dots will look like when done. But an email is a collection
    of characters, and the characters are all known sets of data in and of
    themselves. An A or an X for example is always an A or an X, but any given
    dot in the letter is only known as that particular dot, and the arrangement
    of the surrounding dots are only known as dots or _not dots_. In a fax, the
    scanner scans from left to right and collects all of the dots on the line,
    then moves to the next line and scans again, then the next line, and so on
    to the end of the page. It sends data that repeats the dots on a line from
    left to right, then moves to the next line and prints those dots, then the
    next line and so on. There are varying ways to collect the data, but the end
    result is always the same. They can not convert a fax scan to an e-mail
    arrangement unless the fax scanner has character recognition to read the
    entire document after it is scanned and convert the result to text.

    Your question raises a good point though -- why not scan the lines of data
    and send them over broadband to a fax printer to be printed? A "fax printer"
    (software in the computer called at print time) takes text -- a Word
    document, for example -- and converts it to lines of dots, so that part of
    the problem is already solved. The trouble becomes, the disconnect between
    broadband and the telephone system. A text message is essentially an e-mail,
    the account is <whatever>, but the wired-phone system
    hasn't got the same capability. Cell technology is more akin to voice over
    IP, whereas the old telephone system (and fax) is a pure analog expereince,
    so the limitations are greater.
     
    Jeff Strickland, Apr 6, 2008
    #16
  17. Paul U

    Paul U Guest

    Exactly. However, in the absence of any other solution, is there likely to
    be a problem if I hitch up a telephone modem, to be used purely for faxing
    effectively as a printer, while continuing to use the normal broadband cable
    modem for everything else? Any software conflicts etc?

    I see they can be purchased on Ebay for less than £10.
     
    Paul U, Apr 6, 2008
    #17
  18. I can't see any problem with that solution.

    You just have to be sure that you do not link the internet services to a
    dial-up service. The modem can be set to only respond to requests to fax --
    either send or receive -- and ignore other data services.

    I can't think of any problem at all. I use a fax machine connected to a
    computer, and compose documents with the software appls that I have, then
    choose FAX from the print menu while connected to the 'net through broadband
    (fiber optic) services. My connection to the fax machine is a bit different
    than you will have, but I see no reason that you cannot fax directly from
    the PC and avoid affecting the broadband connection on a different port
    inside your maching.

    I'd take a drive to town for that modem. I think you can buy one at your
    equivelent of Best Buy for the same price and take it home with you. I don't
    think eBay will give you that much of a discount. On my side of the pond we
    have an electronic super store called Fry's. They had a printer/fax/scanner
    for free after the mail in rebate. You probably need a printer from time to
    time, so you get a solution to your problem, plus a bonus and the whole
    thing is free at the end of the day. If you don't need the printer, then you
    will never have to buy ink, and this will make faxing free. You also get the
    benefit of a scanner.

    Clearly the asnwer to your question is an opportunity to get a device that
    provides the solution and way more at a price far below what you were
    expecting.
     
    Jeff Strickland, Apr 6, 2008
    #18
  19. Paul U

    Paul U Guest

    Thanks very much. I'll try that.
     
    Paul U, Apr 7, 2008
    #19
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