Dumping my fax machine
David Weinberger on Technology
98% of the time, my fax machine is nothing but a remote printer for companies trying to sell me bogus stock tips and vanish-into-the-Everglades trips to Florida. I hate subsidizing them with paper and carbon film. And, the number they give to call to be removed from their lists is always mysteriously busy.
So, to hell with my fax machine. I instead bought a $20 fax-modem card for my PC - you can probably do better than that - and plugged my phone line into it. Now fax ads still come, but they only use up bits, and I've got plenty of them.
The fax card looks like a printer to my computer, so it's easy to fax anything that I could print. And if I need to fax an existing piece of paper - you remember paper, don't you? - I can scan it into my Epson CX5200, a printer with a flatbed top that functions as a copier or a scanner. (I love the Epson, except for the whopping lie on the box: I get about 300 text pages from a black ink cartridge, not 1,200. The expense of the ink explains why the machine itself costs less than $150.)
So, now I'm all set up. I can give my fax machine away, send and receive faxes through my computer, and tell those spammers to go fax themselves. (Of course, it felt pretty retro installing a modem card in my PC in these broadband days...)