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A shareware program that uses your printer as a fax machine

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      08.03.2001 21:41
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      This is a nifty little shareware program that enables your computer to operate as a fax machine - able to both send and receive. The actual program size is not too large, and is self-extracting to a very thorough point; there is no need for you to configure which port operates the modem and so on - the program does this for you. The concept is simple - it adds a ghost print driver to your printing options, cunningly called "Fax". When you print a document to "Fax", a copy is made of the document in the form of a .PCX file. The program then automatically opens a window, asking whether you wish to send this, and if so, to whom. 32bitFax has a simple address function that you can take, or add, telephone numbers from, and the actual sending is painless. Although the send is around 1-2 pages per minute, this is actually only about 10p if you are calling a local line fax, which is MUCH cheaper than some of the costs of the Fax Bureaus available in the high street. Receiving a fax is also simple to carry out. Ensuring your computer is on, the fax software simply opens the telephone line, receives the fax (again into a .PCX file), the closes the line. You are informed of an incoming fax, and there is even an inbox folder. The software allows you to read the .PCX files, and (this is the best bit) has OCR - Optical Character Recognition, which means that you can literally "lift" the text from a fax. I haven't yet had a use for this in any purposeful way, but is one of those things that reaffirms the wonder of modern technology! The only major downside of the program is the very poorly designed user interface, which uses bizarre icons that bear almost no relation to their purpose. That being said, this is a very impressive and clever bit of software, at an exceptionally cheap price (it costs £17.00 to make it fullware).

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