[Novalug] Suggestions Needed
franklin at elfie.org
Wed Mar 17 09:09:38 EDT 2010
On Mar 16, 2010, at 4:14 PM, Dan Arico wrote:
> We're handling a lot of documents here. One step that's causing me problems is
> faxing them to our customer. About one out of three times the phone connection
> is incredibly noisy.
> I'm considering a couple of options:
> Use VoIP for the fax line.
I've managed to send a couple faxes over Vonage, but it took a half dozen tries to get it to work. Turning down the fax speed, turning of error correction (too many false positives) and increasing the VoIP quality (if you have the option) will help. I've seen forum posts for Vonage that suggest prefixing with*99 to turn off "bandwidth saver" and other suggestions to improve the odds of a successful fax.
The G.711 codec is supposed to have enough audio bandwidth to handle faxing. I also see references to T.38, a codec for faxing that (near as I can tell) leaves the fax data digital, but I can't tell if the fax machine is supposed to negotiate that with the VoIP connection or which (if any) fax devices support it.
> Scan the documents to pdf and send them as e-mail attachments.
This would be far more reliable. I've seen fax devices as far back as 2002 that would take an e-mail address instead of a phone number, wrap up the document in an e-mail and send it out.
A decent All-In-One would give you options. I just picked up an HP OfficeJet 6500 (the wireless & duplexing version) from Costco for $110. It has a scanner with a document feeder on it that I've managed to scan over the network to my Mac. While I haven't tried to scan to a linux box myself, I do see references online to Linux support for the device.
There are also email-to-fax services out there to consider.
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