Just the Fax…
Hello for 2-98
By: Mike Lipshultz
Mike@biznetonline.com

Fax machines. It is hard to find a business nowadays that does not have one. It is even getting hard to find any home with a computer that does not have some fax capability.

How many of those fax machines or fax capable computers do you think came without any instructions? Not many. How many of those instruction manuals have ever been looked at? Same answer, not many. No big deal, a fax machine is easy to use. No need to look at directions. You put the paper to fax in the slot, get a dial tone, dial the number, hit Start/Send, you’re done. Not really. In fact most users are not really using their fax machines properly.

Almost all fax machines and fax enabled computers have an automatic sending feature. Most of the fax users out there do not know about it, nor do they know that you should almost always send your faxes this way.

OK, what is this auto send mode? The auto send mode, calls the number. If the line rings and is answered the fax is transmitted. If the line is not answered or the other fax machine did not receive the fax, in auto mode, your fax will be re-sent until sent and received. On most fax machines, to send in auto mode, you put the paper to fax in the machine, dial the number and hit the Send/Start button.

In manual mode (the one most people use), you hit the start/send key to get a dial tone, you dial the number, listen for the fax tone, then push the start/send button again to send your fax. If there is a problem you have to keep doing it over and over and over. In Auto mode, your fax machine will do it for you.

Hey, it’s no big deal if I do it right or not! Not really, you waste a lot of time sending manually. At the very least it takes twice as long to send manually as it does automatically. That time can add up. Also in manual mode you get transmission problems that are not really there. If you are transmitting to any system that is voice and fax enabled (such as a voice/fax mail system, computer, or a combination answering machine/fax machine) you’re going to have problems in transmitting that auto mode would not have. On transmitting, these systems are listening to the line for a fax tone. If they do not hear it, they do not send out a fax tone, or, they go into voice mode. If you’re standing there listening for the fax tone, you’re not going to hear it. You call and complain to the recipient that their system is not working, when it is you who is doing it wrong. In auto mode, the tone is sent by your machine, triggering the receiving system to go into fax mode. Everything works.

If your fax machine does not have an auto capability and you have to send manually, try sending the fax the moment the line is answered by an automated system. You will find a lot more of your faxes go though without a problem. This will also eliminate the need found on a lot of systems that ask you to put in a code to send a fax. Such as "if you are sending a fax, push #12 now. Most of those systems can hear the fax tone, So, take a quick look at your instructions. The time you spend doing a quick read, will be saved down the line.

Hey L.A. It’s Telephony time.

The March 1998 Computer Telephony show will be held in Los Angeles again this year at the Los Angeles Convention Center, March 3,4,5. Over the last several years this show has really gotten big. I first did the show three years ago. It was a nice two hours. Last year I was only able to give the show two days! Now that’s a growing show. If you’re into computers and telephones, or just telephones, this is a must-see show. For more information, go on over to : http://www.ctexpo.com/ct98/cte_home98.html


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Last modified: November 08, 2002