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[tlug] Faxmodem Configuration

My troubles with iBus go back about a week to my feeble attempts to set up my Kubuntu to send and receive faxes for a client who pays well; pays on time; and does not want to hear the word "Internet" uttered in their collective presence. Let's stipulate that any discussion of how to teach them connectivity is off topic and an irritant only.

I had several cheapie internal Conexant-powered softmodems and installation required recompiling the kernel ... which I reduced to the computing equivalent of Fukushima Daiichi Reactor Number Two five times in five tries.

So, I carefully read the *buntu manpages, which all said that if I installed an RS232C port on my PC and got an external faxmodem, setup would be a breeze.

The manpages lied. And I have to keep checking my calendar to make sure it isn't 1986 and my OS isn't DOS 3.1. It is deja vu all over again.

1. Instead of digging through the Magic Closet (a.k.a. The Legacy Hardware Repository), I bought a shiny new RS232C from a Rakuten shop and plugged it into my motherboard. The other end went into a holder that occupies one of the slots in the back of my case.

2. I bought an external serial modem which turned out to be basically the same modem as the internal one I had except the tech guys at the manufacturer (RATOC) assured me they had a bunch of them running on Fedora machines without having to recompile their kernel(s). They sort of smiled condescendingly when I told them I was using Debian and suggested that even a lesser OS should have no trouble.

3.  I connected modem to box via cable to new RS232C.

4. Despite the extremely contradictory online instructions I have reached the following point:

# sudo dmesg | grep tty
# [    0.000000] console [tty0] enabled
# [    1.991465] serial8250: ttyS0 at I/O 0x3f8 (irq = 4) is a 16550A
# [    2.320739] 00:09: ttyS0 at I/O 0x3f8 (irq = 4) is a 16550A
# sudo ln -s /dev/ttyS0 /dev/modem
# ln: creating symbolic link `/dev/modem': File exists
# setserial /dev/ttyS0
# /dev/ttyS0, UART: 16550A, Port: 0x03f8, IRQ: 4

5. Stop me if I am mistaken but, it appears that I have a box and modem on speaking terms with one another and a faxmodem with a name. The faxmodem is connected to the Rest of the World through a line that is both a Softbank BBphone (050-x) and NTT (0291-x after dialing "0000" for access).

6. The Next Big Question is "How do I get from where I am to where I want to be?"

- Every help page I have tried wants me to next set up a connection to my ISP using wvdial.

- I want to set up a fax machine as a printer. I don't want to dial my ISP. At all. Ever.

- I have hplip installed for my Photosmart Premium printer and it appears as though it can be set up for faxing if the faxmodem can have a device identifier consistent with a USB, URL, or LPT. Having the fax installed as a printer (like WIN) is the preferable choice. E-fax doesn't seem to be a viable option

- It if I use a serial <-> USB adapter, it appears as though I am back to recompiling the kernel and the attendant joys of doing so.

Has anyone been here and done this? How do I make the next step? Any URLs for self-help especially appreciated.


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