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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

USB Fax Modem

I have one of the best broadband services around-- Verizon FiOS. I have no plans to return to a dial-up internet service-- however last winter with the many power outages, I wished on more than one occasion that I had access to a dial-up service. The dedicated fax landline remained available throughout most of the power outages, while the mainline only remained available as long as the Verizon backup power supply lasted-- which was about 8 hours or so.

When I tested the Apple USB Fax-Modem that I have owned since getting my Macbook several years ago, I found it would not work with my Netbook. So recently, I ordered a generic USB Fax-Modem to use with the netbook in case of emergencies and it arrived today.

The photo shows the new Fax-Modem [black] and the old Apple Fax-Modem [white]:

I had no problems installing the USB Fax-Modem software on an old Windows SE platform- [yes, it already has a Fax-Modem half card on the motherboard-- however, I wanted to test on that old system first]. The following shows the 3" CDROM with the software drivers for the old Windows 98se platform [and others] that came with the modem.

I was able to use Windows Update with the Netbook instead of the CDROM and that too, worked. I was able to fax and dial landlines with no problems.

Here is the netbook connected to the internet via NetZero using the new modem.

NetZero offers some pretty reasonable plans if you are looking for a similar solution in case of an emergency. Keep in mind-- you will need a landline that either has an independent power supply or does not require power.

Why not use the Macbook for emergencies-- since I already had the modem? Reluctant to install new software on my main software development platform. It is also where I maintain other work and ideas. I cannot work without my Macbook- though I backup the files regularly. The software installed to do my work-- is invaluable to me. These days, I rarely install any new software on that system. Not even a more recent version of the operating system that I own.

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