mgetty+sendfax 1.1.35 review

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Mgetty+sendfax is a collection of programs to send and receive faxes in a unix environment using a class 2.0 or 2 (they're different)

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 999K
Developer: Gert Doering
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Mgetty+sendfax is a collection of programs to send and receive faxes in a unix environment using a class 2.0 or 2 (they're different) faxmodem. vgetty is an extension to mgetty, distributed with it, that implements incoming voice call handling for certain voice-capable modems, with new ones added regularly, if specs are available.

More specifically, the program `mgetty' allows you to use a class 2.0 or 2 fax modem for receiving faxes and handling external logins without interfering with outgoing calls.

`sendfax' is a standalone program which sends fax files. `vgetty' is an extended version of mgetty that can answer the telephone like an answering machine and record a voice-mail message (if it finds one), or perform `mgetty's fax or data call handling otherwise.

The mgetty+sendfax distribution includes vgetty and a good-sized gob of utility programs that help you manage faxes and voice messages.

Here are some key features of "mgetty plus sendfax":
send faxes directly or using shell scripts (easily integrated into other applications).
do "fax polling", this means you can call the weather station and get them to send you a fax containing the current weather map. (Not all modem manufacturers implement this feature in their modems!)
create a "fax queue", outgoing faxes get sent automatically, the user is informed by mail about the result.
`mgetty' allows you to use a single modem line for receiving calls and dialing out.
`mgetty' knows about "smart" modems, and will make sure that the modem is always in a defined state (specific modem initialization possible)
Incoming calls are answered manually (`RING' -> `ATA' -> `CONNECT') instead of using auto-answer (`ATS0=1'), this way the modem won't pick up the phone when the machine is down or logins are not allowed. (but see note below for ISDN/digital modems)
mgetty completely replaces getty and/or uugetty. Like uugetty, supports lock files in a fashion compatible with almost all known versions of UUCP (HDB/BNU, SVR4, V7, Taylor in various flavours). uugetty has some features mgetty doesn't support; see "How does mgetty differ from uugetty?" below.
mgetty supports System V style gettydefs terminal configurations.
mgetty can receive class 2 faxes (if your modem supports it).
mgetty knows about incoming FidoNet calls.
mgetty has extensive logging / debugging features
do "fax poll sending", that is, you can setup your machine as fax poll server, to send some fax pages to "fax poll" callers. (Send informations about your system, the current wheather map, ...). Be warned, even less modems support this feature.
mgetty can selectively refuse calls based upon CallerID, if your modem supports it, and you're subscribed to the service. CallerID is also logged.
mgetty has facilities to allow you to refuse incoming FAXes when available disk space is low.
mgetty knows about incoming PPP calls, and can hand them off to the PPP-daemon, without requiring a login/password sequence. This feature is also known as AutoPPP
behaves like a normal answering machine for human callers
automatic fax reception when a T.30 calling tone is detected
If the caller isn't a human or fax, a data connect is attempted, if this is successful, the caller will get a normal login
does not interfere with dialouts
remote playback of messages via a DTMF code
toll saver -- if there are new messages, pick up the phone earlier, this way you can hang up in time to avoid a useless call
message light - the autoanswer LED of your modem (if it has one) is turned on if there are new messages
easy playback - on some modems, you can play back the new messages just by pressing DATA/VOICE
using a speech synthesizer is possible - add the date and time to messages (not included by default). The scripts show how to use a speech synthesizer like rsynth, but it is not included in the package. To use this feature, you need a voice modem for that; a converter from the pvf format to the rmd (raw modem data) format exists. This is not true for all supported modems.
voice conversion utilities - play messages on /dev/audio (Not for all supported modems, some voice modems use a proprietary format)
and more, more features available through the voice library/mvm

What's New in This Release:
This release adds class 1/1.0 fax reception (still considered experimental).

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