[olug] Linux-friendly hardware question - stand-alone FAX machine

Rob Townley rob.townley at gmail.com
Sat Nov 19 22:40:58 UTC 2011

On Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 12:35 PM, Chad Homan <choman at gmail.com> wrote:
> My two cents
> I had luck at my brother auto shop getting an all-in-one brother MFC
> 9840CDW  to work with
> ubuntu as a network based printer.  Not sure if he is sending fax from
> ubuntu or manually
> feeding them.
> The ubuntu forums have great community support in regards to hardware
> devices,  you might
> find what your looking for there too.
> On that note, I agree with Rob.  HP's just seem to be the easiest to
> integrate
> Chad, CISSP
> On Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 8:43 AM, Dan Linder <dan at linder.org> wrote:
>> Rob,
>> Thanks for the pointers.  Ironically, my experiences with Brother printers
>> has been the opposite of yours apparently.   My Brother HL-2700CN is about
>> 4
>> years old and has never given a single problem.  It's easy to setup on the
>> network, presents itself in about a half-dozen network printing protocol
>> standards, and came with refillable toner cartridges.  Sadly my experiences
>> with HP printers has been mixed.  I agree that they are bullet-proof, but
>> my
>> experiences with the price-per-page of their ink cartridges have let me
>> down.
>> I don't think that network scanning will be that much of a big deal, just
>> wanted to see if there were any scanner brands to stay away from (assuming
>> the FAX scanner and the stand-alone scanners are similar).  Again, my
>> experience with an older HP USB scanner under Linux was not very good
>> (proprietary hardware not supported by SANE).
>> I might just bite the bullet and get it to play the guinea pig and report
>> back findings...
>> Stay tuned.
>> Dan
>> On Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 14:37, Rob Townley <rob.townley at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Oh Brother!  Do you value your sanity?
>> >
>> > i have NOT used the following printer, but have wasted a couple of
>> > complete months of my life with Brother over the years.  Same goes for
>> > HP, but at least their commercial products lasted a very very long
>> > time.  The following HP specifically supports Linux, is networkable,
>> > probably has a longer duty cycle, and all drivers are probably
>> > built-in to most distributions.
>> >
>> > HP part: CB867A#B1H   UPC: 8 84962 53552 3
>> > http://www.shopping.hp.com/store/product/product_detail/CB867A%2523B1H
>> > The HP shoppoing specifications specifically delineate Linux as
>> supported.
>> > $99 from shopping.hp.com  HP Officejet 4500 All-in-One Printer
>> >
>> > i think this is the same product from newegg, but newegg does not
>> > specifically mention Linux!
>> > $65 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16828115633
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > Network scanning often is not worth the effort.  Most manufacturers
>> > seem to make it so that you have to get a really high end scanner to
>> > do this well in a workgroup.  But maybe things have changed.
>> > Most only allow to send faxes from the pc, not receive.  Hylafax
>> > allows you to receive an electronic version of what was faxed in.
>> >
>> >
>> > HP drivers are often builtin or you need to install hplip hpijs.
>> > After yum install xsane and probably some other packages, a very cheap
>> > HP officejet 5510 AIO was scanning even though the ink was out.  No cd
>> > required!
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > OLUG mailing list
>> > OLUG at olug.org
>> > https://lists.olug.org/mailman/listinfo/olug
>> >
>> --
>> ***************** ************* *********** ******* ***** *** **
>> "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"
>>   (Who can watch the watchmen?)
>>   -- from the Satires of Juvenal
>> "I do not fear computers, I fear the lack of them."
>>   -- Isaac Asimov (Author)
>> ** *** ***** ******* *********** ************* *****************
>> _______________________________________________
>> OLUG mailing list
>> OLUG at olug.org
>> https://lists.olug.org/mailman/listinfo/olug
> _______________________________________________
> OLUG mailing list
> OLUG at olug.org
> https://lists.olug.org/mailman/listinfo/olug

If i could do it all over again, i would use a PC, scanner, t.38 (or
did i want t.37)  to a central HylaFax server with modem,  Tesseract
OCR, JHylaFax Clients, pdfCreator, AvantFax or another HylaFax web
frontend to annotate and categorize incoming faxes, and to send faxes
from my PDA.  Yes, it is more complex, but i would have more
functionality and would not have to pay $20,000 to get the
functionality needed - actually, the real high end systems would not
do what we wanted either.  So we still have inexpensive MFPs.   It
would take time, but no more than keeping firmware and windows drivers
up-to-date and being a tester.  More importantly, i would still have
my sanity and belief in mankind's ability to design something well.

i would not even buy a printer, not even the commercial corporate
grade HP LaserJets for $50 on ebay.   Why?  Because, no matter how
hard i tried, users are still printing faxes only to be scanned back
in later ;(  More Insanity.  Different Story.  When paperless is your
goal, get rid of printers except for the customer receipt.

Dan, at least some of the Brother's use JetDirect technology and
recognizable by HP's WebJetAdmin.  If you need a hub to sniff traffic
to debug why one of the clients does not work, i keep one in my car
trunk.  It has been 4 years since our Brother would not scan/fax
because it was low on ink, so they may have fixed a few bugs.    Save
a tree and time from cleaning up paper dust  -- buy some form of
tablet to read.

Some Reasons to Do-It-Yourself:
 -security: dial in backdoors to your network via the MFP
 -Buy a tablet / nook reader / kindle to read "paper"
 -MFP's have a printer that produces paper and dust.
 -Yes, MFPs may save space, but the paper produced could dwarf all-of-that.
 -Network scanning is often handicapped to get you to upgrade to the
$50,000 scanner.
 -The $50,000 network scanner still will not do what you want.
 -Windows Fax Server will not do everything  you want.  Restricts your
paradigm of thought.
 -WinVista may not save the fax in TIFF class 4, but in files 1,000x larger.
 -WinVista clients may still require Administrator permission to
connect to fax server accounts - another time waster.
 -OCR may not be built-in unless you have a full version of MS Office
installed.  Tesseract OCR is open source.
 -Not even sure if you could call MS Office OCR "built-in" and heck
they may have removed it.
 -When ink is out, scanning and faxing is usually disabled as well.
 -MFPs do not support t.38/t.37 in a way transparent to the end user.
 -Each MFP in an office requires an analog phone line.  DIY can use
t.37 or t.38.
 -HylaFax has many web frontends so no software needed.
 -HylaFax web frontend to fax / print from your phone.
 -Zimbra/Hylafax/Asterisk Integration for unified messaging.
 -An $1100 scanner scans more than 40 double sided pages per minute -
faster than a shredder!

Apologies for the faxrhea.

More information about the OLUG mailing list