Fax Machine Issue

The most important thing to know when working on fax machines is that fax machines as affixed to your HP, Dell, Epson, Brother, Xerox, Ricoh printers are ANALOG DEVICES. On the other hand, phone lines are becoming more and more DIGITAL as supplied by telephone/cable/TV/ISP companies. In fact, it is safe to assume that digital phones are by now in the majority in North America. So, the first question when working on fax machines is, “Is the phone company issuing a digital or an analog signal?” If analog, you can connect a phone line to the back of the fax/printer with no problem. If a digital line comes in to the building, you have to somehow convert the digital signal to analog.  However, many times you will have an analog signal coming in from the ISP then it is converted to digital at your client’s or local site by some machine. In that case, you must bypass or circumvent the local digital PBX or box. This intermediary local PBX can be a point of frustration for many technicians who do not understand fax machines.

Just as a side note: Always dedicate a phone number or line for faxing only if you don’t want ping pong between receiving a phone call or fax. Yes, a fax number or line is the SAME as a phone number… No difference at all.  You can use your phone number as a fax number at any time, so long as you have a machine to receive the fax with. Usually, modern printers, particularly the all-in-one machines, will have a connection/input for faxing.


Should I Buy Windows or Apple?

1. Apples are popular because they are flashy but have their share of problems. Please view one example that we had with a wonderful gentleman down in Washington D.C. here (scroll to Apple Mavericks): 


2. Walk into a Best Buy store and play with an Apple for a while because there is a learning curve to using Macs. Things do not quite work in the same manner as on Microsoft Windows. Some people find Apple to be very natural but we definitely do not! :)

3. Certain applications/programs are only designed for Windows. Make sure all the important software that you use can be installed and run on Mac.

4. It is not entirely true that Apples do not have viruses. It’s just that hackers do not spend as much time cooking up viruses for Macs because they are very few compared to Windows. However, it is true that viruses are the last complaint we technicians expect from Apple users.

4. Let us say you worked on some documents or stuff on Windows, then you saved them on to a USB stick and opened them on a Mac, will they work? What about the reverse, will the Windows machine open them? With Word, Excel and PowerPoint… Yes, but you have to buy the license of Microsoft Office that is designed specifically for Apple.

5. TRUE: Apples are relatively reliable and stable.  FOR PROFESSIONAL/TECHNICAL REASONS: Only Apples are used in the following industries: (i) motion picture/movie production, (ii) music recording studios and (iii) professional graphics design. Only people in these industries ABSOLUTELY CANNOT live without Macs. However, this is argument is becoming outdated because Windows computers have become very fast and stable recently. Microsoft Windows has pretty much closed the gap as of now!

6. You may go ahead and purchase an Apple MacBook simply because you will have fun with variety in your home office.

7. Keep in mind that Microsoft has almost always only built software, not actual hardware or computers. They leave the hardware business to manufacturers like Sony, Dell, HP, Asus, Samsung and so forth. Apple on the other hand is in the business of building both the Apple software and the actual computers, entertainment/portable and mobile devices. In simple terms, Apple has a very tight grip on their products, which leaves consumers of their products married to them for life. 

8. From a technical stand point, real technicians do not care about Macs because we know that they are pure Linux machines. Linux is an open-source and FREE operating system. Which means you can just download an absolutely FREE operating system like Ubuntu and boom… You have something very close to an Apple Mac! Apple simply took Linux, made it flashy, called it Apple OS X and made billions of dollars. Don’t worry about our “beef” with Apple… Just go ahead with your decision based on your feelings and do not forget to smile!

9. In case you are wondering: Yes, we would buy an Apple machine just for the fun of it. Please do let us know because we will be standing guard waiting to hear from you. :) 

Installing & Configuring Apache Server & PHP

NOTE: Packages like XAMPP, LAMP & WAMP will automate all these procedures but you have to work with their defaults or perform the following tweeks.

Install Apache Server / Apache is the terminal service provider

/* The Apache server is all you need so long as you do not involve PHP, and therefore DBMS like MySQL
1. Download the “no src” version and install
2. http://localhost or /* will show the apache web server page; will serve pages from the htdocs folder
3. find the “httpd.conf” file /* this file has evolved over the years
4. Alter DocumentRoot “{drive}/{apache..}/” to your liking
5. place web pages like index.html at {drive}:/{your chosen dir}
6. If you like, alter entry page from default “index.html” to your liking on httpd.conf
“<IfModule mod_dir.c>
DirectoryIndex index.htm
7. restart the Apache server > services.msc or via the control panel > services on Windows

Configure PHP to work with Apache / Apache server passes requests to PHP for sevices as “xxxx.php” page

PHP = Hypertext Pre-processor is an interpreter

You have to tell Apache web server where PHP is

Three ways: CGI {.exe}, Apache dll module and safer sapi method

1. Download the .zip file (the .exe or .msi will automate with IIS) > unzip (check to preserve the folder structure during extraction)

2. Open install.php or install.txt

3. Scroll to web server configuration
“Installing PHP on Windows with Apache x.x.x”

5. open c:/xampp directory/php/install.txt and copy instructions to this effect:

“LoadModule phpx_modue c:/php/sapi/phpxapache.dll
AddModule mod_phpx.c
AddType application/x-httpd-php .php”

Example for PHP5:

# Add to the end of the LoadModule section
LoadModule php5_module “C:\xampp\php\php5apache2_4.dll”

# Add to the end of the AddModule section
AddModule mod_php5.c

For both:
# Add this line inside the <IfModule mod_mime.c> conditional brace
AddType application/x-httpd-php .php

6. Paste in C:\xampp dir\apache\conf\httpd.conf

7. copy php5ts.dll or ealier version to windows/system32 folder

8. localhost/test.php