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RE: FAX software - sorta off topic

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As Glenn has point out, a good potential solution is a "Distinctive Ring"
service (if your phone company offers it).  I have used it in the past
(the phone company at my new house does not offer it, I believe).  The
thing to add is that most modern day fax machines and computer fax
software will work with Distinctive Ring service.  In otherwords, you can
set the fax machine or fax software to only answer the line when the
Distinctive Ring is used...for the "regular" ring the phone will continue
to ring until either you or an answering machine pick up.

As others have mentioned, there are "switch boxes" that can differentiate
between a phone call and fax call and then can route the call to the
correct machine.  I will add that IF you decide to replace your old
printer with a new all-in-one printerfax/copier that I believe some of the
all-in-one systems have a built-in switch capability (I believe that my HP
OfficeJet D135 [precursor to the 6000, 7000 etc series] will supposedly do
it...but have never ttried it).

Your other option would be to "upgrade" you fax modem (could only need to
be upgrading the software or the actual card) to also handle the answering
machine function...I believe that many newer fax modem "systems" also
include "telephony" features (i.e. allow you use your computer as a
telephone and voice mail/answering machine in addition to being used as a
fax machine).  I know that my Dell desktop (which is now about 3+ years
old) has answering machine capabilities.  And this would work well as if
you are planning on using your computer as your fax machine, then you are
likely planning on leaving it on all the time so it could also act as your
answering machine.  Then it does all the "switching".  Also, on the plus
side, if you have more than one person living in the house, many of the
fax modems that also act as answering machines will allow you to setup
multiple mail boxes for the answering machine.

Or you could just bite the bullet and pay for an extra phone line! <grin>

Also, FYI, the all-in-one printers/scanners/copiers will generally allow
you to mix traditional faxes (that you run through the fax scanner) and
electronic faxes in one fax message (at least my HP does).  Thus, if you
have a hand sketch that you want to send with a written letter, you need
not first scan the skecth to insert in the Word document of the letter
(unless you want to) to send electronically by fax or print out the Word
document so that you can send it and the sketch by old fashioned fax


Adrian, MI

On Tue, 27 Jul 2004, Glenn Otto wrote:

> Jason,
> I use Mighty Fax.  I downloaded it and had it free for thirty days.  Then I
> paid $20-30 (I forgot).  It works great it conjunction with my scanner.  I
> have it connected to my second phone line (via computer modem.)  The
> following is what the help FAQ's say about a single phone line:
> "The program will answer all incoming calls. It can't tell a voice call from
> a fax call.
> Some customers who want to use a single phone line for both fax and voice
> use an inexpensive switch box - available at electronic/computer stores (for
> instance Office Depot carries a line of these). The phone line connects to
> one side of the switch box, and the other side has phone lines running to
> the computer and the answering machine. The switch box routes incoming calls
> to one or the other as appropriate.
> Another alternative, if your phone company provides it, is Distinctive Ring.
> This allows you to have a second phone number - on the same line - with a
> different ring from the regular phone number. Bell Atlantic and other phone
> companies have a "Ring Leader" device which plugs in to your phone jack, and
> routes regular phone calls to your phone and distinctive ring calls to your
> computer. It costs about $70 to purchase and install.  There are several
> other similar devices available from electronic supply stores and/or
> computer stores."
> Glenn Otto, P.E.
> Virginia Beach, VA
>   -----Original Message-----
>   From: Jason W. Kilgore [mailto:jkilgore(--nospam--at)]
>   Sent: Tuesday, July 27, 2004 12:07 PM
>   To: seaint(--nospam--at)
>   Subject: FAX software - sorta off topic
>   I want to have the ability to send and receive faxes at home on my single
> phone line.  My computer (always on) has a phone line to fax modem that I
> have not used since I installed Cable internet access.  It also has the
> basic fax program that comes with Windows XP.  I can easily send faxes
> (print to fax from Word, or scan in a piece of paper and print to fax).
>   The trick is I want to be able to RECEIVE faxes automatically while still
> having access to an answering machine.  Specifically, I had an architect
> client once who had a home office with one line.  When you called, it rang a
> few times before the fax picked up and checked for a fax.  If no fax, it
> transferred to an answering machine.
>   Will the default Windows program do this?  If not, does anyone know of any
> software available for purchase (free?) that can handle this?  Maybe have
> the answering machine function as part of the software?
>   My next option is purchasing an all-in-one fax/print/scan/copy device (my
> current printer and scanner are very old and slow).  Does anyone know of one
> of these devices with an answering machine built in?
>   Thanks for your help.
>   ---
>   Jason Kilgore
>   Leigh & O'Kane, LLC
>   Kansas City, Missouri

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