HowTo: Fax with a Newton

The lowly, dependable Newton fax modem.

How much fun can faxing yourself be? Try doing it with a Newton!

I tested the Newton’s faxing capabilities last week, to great success. It’s doggone easy. Here’s how.

First, get yourself a Newton external fax. I grabbed mine off eBay for about $1, plus shipping, which was very affordable. With the 100 series Newtons, there’s no fax card or extra software required. Everything you need is right there.

Batteries go here.

The Newton fax takes two AA batteries (in the slot pictured above), or it has an AC input for 7 voltz. I had two spare AAs around, so I used those. Next, I unplugged my phone from the cord and plugged the end into the fax. That’s all you need to do to set up the fax part.

The phone cord plugged into the Newton fax.

Simple, eh? Now that your modem is all set up, you need something to fax. For this experiment, I just used a simple note I scribbled earlier in the week – in this case, a note on ordering pizzas for a Rotary skating party.

I wrote down my name and my work fax number, since that’s where it was headed. Next, you simply select the little envelope icon in the upper-right corner, and select “Fax.”

Select “Fax” in the envelope icon.

Now you have to enter the send information. I wrote in my name, my fax number, and clicked “Preview” to see what the thing was going to look like. From here, you can also enter a cover page, and click “Options” to put in the area code or any special prefix or access numbers.

It’s almost ready to send.

To send, just hit the “Fax” button. Your “Out Box” will pop up, where you can see “1 item” in your fax out box. Hit “Send,” and you’ll hear the fax modem give the typical screech and howl.

From the out box, hit “send” and your fax is off!

Pretty easy! But what did the finish product look like?

The next day, I rushed over the fax machine, and here’s what I got:

A real, live paper copy of a Newton Fax.

Back at the office, sure enough – my fax was waiting for me. Because this was just an experiment, I didn’t play around with cover letters or templates or anything like that. A simple note on a simple sheet of paper worked just fine for this try-out.

The fax came through beautifully. The text was sharp and clear – a nice, rich black and clear lines. I was impressed.

Nice clear, vibrant fax.

Right there looking at me was my own handwriting, from my own Newton, faxed from my simple phone line at home.

Apple says:

From your Newton, you can control the modem sound volume, the time for the modem to wait for another fax machine to answer, and the time to wait for a dial tone. You can also select between pulse or tone dialing.

Although I never messed with the volume. You can play with that on your own. You can also highlight someone’s name in the document and fax it straight to them. Newton even makes a cover sheet for you after pulling the person’s information from your “Names” database.

Give it a try. Just be sure to head to the fax machine before your coworkers do. Less explaining you have to do later.

[Also, be sure to check out Frank's story over at PDA Soft on his experiences with faxing.  He's got a poem on there that I'll be vorpalizing soon.]

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