LAST WEEK our elderly (at least three years old) HP fax/scan/copy all-in-one gave up the ghost and we went on the hunt for a replacement. Now choosing a printer is one of the most difficult things in the computer world. Even seasoned buffs get confused when looking at the hundreds of different machines, print qualities and options. And then there is laser versus inkjet. Because of low use (this is a paperless office, after all) and the need for occasional good-quality colour printing, a cheap mono laser was ruled out early on.
Eventually we homed in on an HP Photosmart Premium which mirrored the facilities on the old machine. But then we wondered why to bother with fax? Sending and receiving faxes is such a rare occasion these days that a dedicated fax machine isn't really worth it.
So we settled for a good-quality HP Photosmart C6380 which copies, scans and prints and has five separate ink cartridges to reduce wastage. And to see out the last days of faxing, we bought the wonderful Page Sender software from Smile On My Mac. We're already converts to the company's Text Expander and PDF Pen applications and it was no surprise to find that Page Sender is easy to set up and works like a charm. Of course, a £34 Apple USB modem had to be purchased for the iMac.
Now faxes can be sent and received from the computer–which is actually much more convenient since it avoids the need to print the document before faxing. Page Sender also prints the fax on the new faxless HP Photosmart (if required) and, for good measure, fires off a warning email with a copy of the fax attached. So faxes can now be received by email even when you are away from home. Wonderful, and we wonder why we hadn't done this before.