4 Replies Latest reply: Mar 17, 2006 2:03 PM by Ron JACKLE
Christoph Schneider Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
Hi there,

does anybody have a clue if this idea will work?
We plan to buy a Intel Mac mini and someone had the idea to use it additionally as a faxserver - BUT, we'll need more the one fax-line. So, I wonder if it is possible to buy 3 or even 4 external USB-Modem from Apple to use all of them.

Does anyone tried this before?
Any comments are welcome!

Thanks in advance, Chris.

Mac mini Core Duo, 2GB, 120GB Mac OS X (10.4.5)
  • Ron JACKLE Level 7 Level 7 (33,445 points)
    Christoph Schneider...

    Quite frankly, I think you will be faxing yourself right up a tree...

    A home computer makes the worst fax machine, if you expect any reliability in a demanding environment.

    I think you need to visit some professional that deals with faxing, networking, and telecommunications.

  • Christoph Schneider Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Hi Ron,

    of course the mini is more a home computer, but it has a professional OS coming with it. And second, it is just to send and receive faxes... it is not used as a all-the-time-needed-system - for example - a SQL-Server.

    By the way, two fully enhanced intel core duo minis with the maximum of 8 usb-modem-adapters... which mean you have a 100% redundancy included - for less the price of a professional fax-card-based-maschine incl. a four line fax-card. Why isn't it a good choice?


  • mhunter Level 6 Level 6 (9,185 points)
    Hello Chris,

    incl. a four line fax-card. Why isn't it a good

    From my experience the Mac's make a terrible fax machine.

    I have tried receiving faxes with a 1.8 GHz iMac G5 (with built-in modem), a 2.0 GHz iMac G5 (with built-in modem), and my 1.25 GHz Mac Mini (with built-in modem).

    In every single case, and experiment, they dropped the fax after the first page.

    So, that means that I've gone round and round trying to get beyond the first page received without trouble.

    I do have a real fax machine, and never have any trouble receiving faxes on the same line with it. So, I only use the computer as a fax when I want to only receive the first page (for example the many local doctors who send me their customers private details).

    In the case of the doctors, my phone rings frequently with customer's private details. All I want is the first page so I can call the doctor and tell them to quit sending me faxes.

    They will send, send, and re-send until a fax machine answers. It keeps the phone busy all day if I don't receive the fax.

    But, it costs money to receive the 30-page faxes just to stop the phone ringing. So, I let the computer capture the first page, and then call them and demand that they quit calling me (which works for a couple of days).

    You wouldn't believe the information they have sent me. And, with an older doner-film fax, a 30-page document is mighty expensive.

    What really gets me, is when they had the nerve to request me to invest even more money and pay to mail the fax back to them. I tell them their free to drive here and get it, otherwise, it's going in the garbage.

    I can tell you from experience, that your medical records are not safe with a doctor. They just assume they are dialing the right number, and will send your entire personal history (and even family history - I've received generations of information) to just about anyone with a fax machine.

    Anyway, now that I explained how I use mine, I hope you can better understand why a real fax machine is going to serve you better.

    The tolerance of a real fax machine will prevent you from constantly trying to receive the same fax over and over and over again.
  • Ron JACKLE Level 7 Level 7 (33,445 points)
    Christoph Schneider...

    "Why isn't it a good choice?"

    I do not think the Intel or PPC Mac mini can handle more than 1 (one) modem correctly. You probably would need something between the machine to handle multiple lines.

    Software, more than likely, is then sold on a per seat basis to go beyond the 1 (one) line once you get passed the hardware issues.

    Good Luck!