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My four year old Canon fax (copy, scan and print) machine died, probably from lack of use. I threw it away and purchased the least expensive, lowest profile fax machine that Costco had. A Panasonic, which was plain paper, but used ribbon ink. Model # KX-FPG378.

It seems that there are no simple fax machines anymore, or at least theyíre very difficult to find in most stores. Manufactures can charge a premium for a multi function machine that can fax, copy, scan, print, make coffee and your morning toast. And of course the newer machines use a 2.4 GHz wireless phone, which interferes with some home wireless networks.

So here I am with this month old Panasonic fax machine that worked the day I purchased it. I needed to receive a fax yesterday, sign it and fax it back. I was able to receive the fax, but no matter how hard I tried, I kept getting "fax failure" voice messages when trying to send it back. Though Iím good with computer hardware, I tend to hate fax machines, and they sense it and hate me. Problem is that I only need a fax machine about five or six times a year and itís more convenient to have one sitting here than to drive a 15 mile round trip each time I need to send or receive a fax.

This morning I went to Staples and purchased a bottom of the line, simple Sharp inkjet fax machine that uses plain paper for $69. Though the cartridge cost about $38, it can print 500 pages, which may be more faxes that Iíll receive in this lifetime.

Tip Ė an alternative to sending faxes is to scan the document and save it as a PDF in Photoshop. It uses JPEG compression so the resulting file size is very manageable. I was able to e-mail a higher quality signed document that looked exactly like the original, than if I had faxed it.

And the Panasonic is going back to Costco first thing Monday.


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