Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 131 / JULY 1991 / PAGE 27

Brooktrout Fax-Mail 96. (PC internal fax) (evaluation)
by Richard C. Leinecker

I hold the record for fax-document jams. That's why I was thrilled to get something other than the standard manual-feed fax machine. The Brooktrout Fax-Mail board met and exceeded all of my hopes, and I've gotten over my fax phobia at long last.

Fax-board installations can stump even expansion-card installation veterans. That's because they often conflict with other devices and software already installed. This was no exception to that rule. But the manual was complete and walked me through troubleshooting steps that anyone could've followed.

The software that comes with the system is menu driven and easy to use. I had no trouble adjusting the configuration and preferences for my needs. The configuration and system software passed the No Manual Needed test. They were so easy to use that, until I was ready for the advanced features, the manual wasn't necessary. And my AUTOEXEC.BAT file was automatically updated saving me from having to manually edit it.

Sending faxes from text files is simple. Select the file, enter the destination phone number, and tell it to start. The Fax-Mail system does the rest--converting it to the correct format, dialing the phone, sending the fax, error checking, and terminating the call. On the other end the faxes arrive looking just as if I'd sent them through one of the old-fashioned faxes (probably better since I would've had at least one document jam). Sending graphics files in PCX format is just as easy. The software takes care of all the conversion details for you.

Receiving was almost as easy. The documents are saved to a disk file and can be viewed on the screen or sent to your printer. My Panasonic KX-P4420 laser printer's RAM filled up and generated an error message occasionally. Then I read the documentation and found out that I didn't have enough memory for 300-dpi output. Changing to 100 dpi made all the difference. I didn't have any trouble after that.

If you fear or loathe fax machines, the Brooktrout Fax-Mail 96 is your ticket. With it, you can forget document jams and unintelligible errors--and enjoy smooth sailing into a better-working office or business.