DosFax PRO. (communications software) (Software Review) (Evaluation)
by Alfred C. Giovetti
Communication hardware is changing rapidly. New devices incorporate new data compression features, higher speeds, and a new standard that makes all modems with the Rockwell chip set use standard codes rather than proprietary ones. Software now can make use of these standard codes so that any modem using the new standard will be compatible with the new software packages.
Out of these changes has emerged the fax card, which can allow you to send and receive fax documents from your PC to a fax machine or another computer with similar equipment. Fax/modems have become so popular and inexpensive that sales of modems without fax capability have dropped to almost nothing.
The leader in fax/modem software for Windows has just released a DOS version of its award winner. Delrina Technology's DosFax PRO brings us the power, reliability, and ease of use that made WinFax PRO sell at a rate of one copy every minute.
DosFax PRO can be used as a stand-alone product and is for people who prefer DOS to Windows. You can also use it in conjunction with WinFax PRO if you jump back and forth between DOS and Windows applications.
One of the most appealing features of DosFax PRO is its compatibility with any DOS application. A 13K terminate-and-stay-resident program (TSR), which can be loaded into either extended or expanded memory, allows the software to remain in the background of virtually any DOS application, such as a word processor, database, or spreadsheet. From the background, it will fax your document. The same TSR allows the modem, computer, and dedicated fax line to receive and print a fax communication transparently while operating in the background of another DOS application.
The key to DosFax PRO's compatibility with any DOS application is its revolutionary ability to act as another printer driver within the application program, making faxing a document as easy as printing one. The Hewlett-Packard Laserjet and Epson printer emulations make DosFax PRO the only fax software to have WYSIWYG faxing of desktop publishing and graphic art pictures to any Group 3 fax machine and to traditional data- or ASCII-based fax documents. The simplicity and compatibility of the printer driver emulation lets DosFax PRO support all font-management systems, font attributes, and embedded graphics.
Unlike most other fax software, DosFax PRO is compatible with over 138 fax/modems, including those which come already installed on notebook computers. DosFax PRO uses standard fax and modem instructions which will remain compatible with any fax/modem that uses the Rockwell chip set. DosFax PRO supports most of the popular Class 1, Class 2, and Sendfax-compatible fax/modems.
DosFax PRO has phone book and administrator capabilities that allow you to send one fax to one fax number or to broadcast, simultaneously, to thousands of fax numbers across the nation. The administrator automates the sending of faxes and can schedule the transmission for any time or date.
The unlimited number of phone books remember and categorize up to a thousand 24-character phone numbers and 9-character prefixes. The prefix allows you to access the outside line on many PBX phone systems, while the 24-character phone number provides ample space for any special codes needed by your telephone carrier. The intelligent phone book saves you keystrokes by filling in the remaining address, number, and prefix from its memory after you enter a unique sequence of letters or numbers that corresponds to that in memory.
DosFax PRO's administrator keeps a running log of all fax transmissions and received fax documents. It can be set to retransmit documents that have failed, and the software automatically complies with any instructions for rescheduling. You can cancel or amend any fax transmission right from the pop-up menus. Received faxes can be stored to memory, printed on receipt, stored or printed when prompted on receipt, viewed graphically with page rotation, used with five-level zoom and thumbnail capabilities, or exported to three fax transmission formats (TIFF, PCX, and FXS).
DosFax PRO allows for customizable cover sheets when broadcasting to a large group of fax numbers. It draws on the database to allow for data interfacing with the fax cover to put on the correct address, contact person, and other information. Unfortunately, the public will have to wait for future releases of DosFax PRO before the fax mail-merge feature will allow customization of the fax itself, which would be of great use to anyone who sends a lot of faxes.
DosFax PRO uses pop-up menus and hot keys that activate the TSRs. The clean, easy-to-understand, intuitive windows make the well-written, 130-page, indexed manual an accessory which will be needed only in an emergency, if one arises.
As a result of the constantly changing fax/modem technology, many products do not have features that will be available in the near future, such as the ability to integrate voice, data, and fax communication within the computer, modem, and telephone systems. Many new features, such as optical character reader (OCR) technology, will be added to fax software, forever changing the way we communicate. As those updates and upgrades take place, DosFax PRO should be able to remain a leader in fax/modem software and stand apart from the competition. IBM PC or compatible; 640K RAM; CGA, EGA, VGA, or better; hard drive with 2,5MB free; DOS 5.0 recommended; supports EMS and XMS; supports more than 138 Class 1 (send/receive), Class 2 (send/receive), and Sendfax (send only) modems--$79 DELRINA TECHNOLOGY 6830 Via Del Oro, Ste. 240 San Jose, CA 95119 (800) 268-6082 Circle Reader Service Number 370