Apple USB Modems Cripple Fax Capability

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Date: Wednesday, March 19th, 2003, 00:00
Category: Archive

I recently upgraded from a PB G3 (Wallstreet) to an iMac 17″ and a PBG4 15″/867 MHz. Had to go a long way to convince my employer not only to work from home three days a week but also to have an all-Mac outfit. The IT manager was more than suspicious that Macs would fulfill the duties.


I recently upgraded from a PB G3 (Wallstreet) to an iMac 17″ and a PBG4 15″/867 MHz. Had to go a long way to convince my employer not only to work from home three days a week but also to have an all-Mac outfit. The IT manager was more than suspicious that Macs would fulfill the duties.

As it turns out, he may be right. With only one computer on my desk (Wallstreet), I let all incoming faxes pile up on the fax server of my telco company wherefrom I downloaded them on my Wallstreet for further processing. Sending faxes from my Wallstreet never was a problem. However, with my new iMac it is.

I am unable to send faxes through PageSender (a marvel of an app). I contacted the developer and explained my problem: The iMac does not emit the so called “Guard Tone” (that high pitch sound) when opening a fax transmission so that the called unit knows a fax is waiting for being transmitted.

This is essential of you are calling a fax/answering machine combo which listens into the incoming call after “lifting the ear piece” to know if it has to start the ring alert (wake up, someone’s calling) or start the fax part of the machine and spit out the fax. A similar situation: if you want to send a fax for saving on the voice mail server of a mobile phone, which is possible with GSM. You can even print the fax on any fax machine the receiver desires, even to his laptop on the road.

Lacking the Guard Tone on my iMac I can only send faxes to big fat fax machines which emit a Guard Tone themselves upon being called. This is an essential restriction concerning my work and the reasons my new iMac was purchased.

PageSender’s developer, Smile Software, told me that they know about the problem and Apple has been aware of it since last fall after having dropped the emittance of the fax Guard Tone on their new machine with USB modems.

I have spent approximately €2500 on my new iMac just to be forced to buy a separate modem now for fax transmissions or buy a separate fax machine for fax dispatch, as Apple so far has not fixed the problem. Has anyone discovered a work around?

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