Section 9 : Miscellaneous Stuff

Q904: A Hylafax Success Story

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A Hylafax Success Story

From: Rob Embry <>
Subject: flexfax: A Hylafax Success Story
Date: 27 January 2000 21:17

I rarely post to this mailing list although I monitor it daily. I thought y'all would appreciate the story of my little fax server that I retired today with honors.

Over 3 years ago I was asked to provide a network based fax solution for my company, and do it CHEAP! We have approximately 110 machines in two locations on a mixed *nix and NT network.

Using an already obsolescent IBM PS/1 ValuePoint 486/33 with a 512MB hard drive and 8MB of RAM and a couple of Zoom fax modems, I installed a Linux 1.x kernel (Slackware) and brought up Hylafax on it. I installed WHFC on my users' desktops, and modified faxrcvd to route inbound faxes for dispatch to my receptionist via email.

For over three years the little darlin' has cranked along sending and receiving over 2000/faxes per month with nary a hiccup. When the traffic load built up we bumped it to 20MB RAM to alleviate the ghostscript bottleneck.

About 18 months ago we needed to be able to fax purchase orders (formerly printed on multi-part pre-printed forms), including logos and signatures, directly from our text-based manufacturing application running on HP-UX. The recommended solution from the mfg software vendor was a MS Exchange based product for fax and an MS-based forms product costing a total of over $7000. With a little perl magic and heavy tweaking of Postscript output from MS Word, I came up with a Hylafax solution that cost about 100 hours of my time (not cheap) but no $$$$ out of the company's pocket.

Since the fax server was one of the last 486's still cranking around here, we decided to get upgrade it although it was still working just fine and had no Y2K date roll-over problems. So today at 12 noon, the new fax server came up without a hitch and the old one will be laid to rest.

Rob Embry
EMC Test Systems
Austin, TX

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