Comments on FaxSTF bundled with iBook Dual USB

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Date: Wednesday, September 19th, 2001, 11:48
Category: Archive

Three weeks ago, I upgraded to an iBook dual USB, and now find myself having to use faxSTF, the bundled software that came with it.

The fax software that came with it is so buggy, I feel embarassed for its developers, not to mention its beta testers. Having used Global Village’s faxing softare for several years on my 2400c, I realize now how spoiled I was. faxSFT shows remarkable imcompatibility, with frequent errors (-35 just yesterday) on MAINSTREAM (though granted out of date) programs, such as Quark 3.3, WordPerfect 3.5, Photoshop 4.0, Excel, and God knows what else.


Three weeks ago, I upgraded to an iBook dual USB, and now find myself having to use faxSTF, the bundled software that came with it.

The fax software that came with it is so buggy, I feel embarassed for its developers, not to mention its beta testers. Having used Global Village’s faxing softare for several years on my 2400c, I realize now how spoiled I was. faxSFT shows remarkable imcompatibility, with frequent errors (-35 just yesterday) on MAINSTREAM (though granted out of date) programs, such as Quark 3.3, WordPerfect 3.5, Photoshop 4.0, Excel, and God knows what else.

I’m discovering new ways that faxSTF can go wrong with every day that passes. Today, here’s what happened: a client in France faxed me ten pages. The sending fax machine did not separate some of the pages, i.e., they were recognized as a continuous feed by faxSTF. This is a common problem that occurs quite frequently. The result: when I forwarded the fax to my partner here in the us, faxSTF reduced the documents so they would fit on a single page.

I tried rescaling using faxSTF, no dice. I tried using faxSTF’s automatic break line option, no dice. I tried opening the document as picts with Photoshop, but because faxSTF had downsized the image, the documents were stretched out and became completely illegible. I downloaded Graphic Coverter, but the same stretching problem occured.

This is completely unacceptable performance for a commercial product, and I sincerely hope that faxSTF’s developers will either get out of the faxing software business, or put a half-assed effort at making faxing software that actually works, with an eye toward backwards compatibility. Basically, every time I use this software, I’m crossing my fingers and expecting some new disaster to happen. And tech support from SFT? Well, for one, they don’t have telephone tech support for faxSFT, and, judging from the software’s performance, it’s no wonder.

I find it unfortunate that Apple uses such terrible software, and hope that Apple will strike a licensing deal with someone who has a clue, or who is willing to put in the necesary time and effort.

I still own my Global Village modem and software, so I suppose that I legally could still use it, but I don’t think it’ll work with the iBook’s internal 56K modem. I’m nevertheless desperately looking for a workaround: faxSFT is truly a horrible, unstable, buggy piece of software, basically still in beta status, and which I’d equate to some of the worst blunders, including Microsoft Word 6.0.

On a positive note, FaxSTF’s ability to annotate faxes is useful, intuitive, and well thought out.

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