SatisFAXtion. (computer facsimile board) (evaluation)
by Robert Bixby
For a friendly fax that won't take up room on your desk and for receiving faxes as images that can be stored and manipulated by your computer, you'd be hard-pressed to find something simpler to install or easier to use than SatisFAXtion.
The full-length 16-bit board is installed in a couple of minutes (although it's a 16-bit board, it will work in an 8-bit slot). It has no jumpers or switches to set. Once it's in, the only thing left to think about is the software.
You can send faxes from either Windows or DOS. For Windows-based transmission, the program supports Faxit (which isn't included, although you get a coupon for a free copy). There are two options for sending faxes from DOS. You can create a text file and then use the command COPY TEXTFILE LPT3 to send the fax (it invokes a pop-up program called FaxPop), or you can print the file from within the program (any program) to LPT3. LPT3 is the fax board; you can easily change the port to LPT1 for programs that can't print to alternative printer ports. LPT3, incidentally, emulates an Epson dotmatrix printer.
Keep up to 1000 fax numbers on file in your online telephone book for automatic dialing from the pop-up program. By using a feature called grouping in the telephone book and a special fax process called polling, you can automatically send up to 100 faxes, one to each of the numbers in a group. If your word processor allows you to change your printer setting from within the program, you could also print directly from your word processor to the fax line.
At first, the board fought with my mouse for dominance of the serial port, but by telling the installation program that I had no mouse (I lied), I was able to get the data-modem part of the board to cooperate.
The card is equipped with an input for an optional hand scanner that would enable you to fax directly from gray-scale images. Unfortunately, it has a proprietary connection, so only the Intel scanner can be plugged into it.
OCR software is also available. Neither of these were provided with the review unit. Clearly, this fax board from Intel has much to offer, including an abundance of useful features, superior ease of use and installation, and a very good manual.