A couple of tools I use to manage old technologies
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Hi everyone, this is Leo Notenboom with news, commentary and answers to some
of the many questions I get at askleo.info.
I just returned from a week away from home on a business trip. With the
internet becoming fairly ubiquitous – and in fact a requirement for an
“internet entrepreneurs conference” – you can imagine that I remained quite
connected. A combination of WiFi, a cell phone data plan, remote access and
virtual private networks, and I was pretty much jacked in whenever I wanted to
be – almost as if I was at home.
There are a couple of “old” technologies, however, that while almost as
ubiquitous, now require a little special handling for the road warrior.
To be honest, I’m amazed that faxes are still being used with such
regularity. At their best, FAXes are the moral equivalent of a low quality
image scan reproduced on a mediocre printer. With higher quality scanners,
printers and the internet all being common place, you’d think that FAXes would
die a quiet death. Sadly, that’s not the case.
A couple of years ago I ditched my dedicated FAX phone line for a service. I
still find myself dealing with faxes on a regular basis, and now use
maxemail.com. Faxes sent to my fax number are emailed to me as PDF files.
Naturally maxemail also supports sending faxes by simply uploading a document
in any of several file formats. Sending and receiving FAXes using any of a
number of services like this makes you totally location independent. All you
need is your internet connection and you’re good to go.
The other “old” technology is the lowly telephone call. One of my pet peeves
about hotels are the outrageous rates that they charge for long distance phone
calls. The solution I’ve used in the past is to use my cell phone, with oodles
of nationwide long-distance minutes included. Sadly, cell coverage still isn’t
what it should be everywhere, and calls can quickly turn into a nightmare of
repeated “can you hear me now?” where the answer ends up being no.
My solution is to have have my own toll free number. There are several
services out there that, for very low fees, will provide a toll free number
that you can then forward to wherever you like. I have a toll-free number
provided by accessline.com that forwards to my home. Hotels typically provide
local and toll free callfor free, so I can call home from anywhere on the road
at dirt cheap rates. Yes, services such as Skype and other VOIP solutions also
come to mind, but while you can typically assume there ther eis an internet
connection these days, you can’t always assume that it will have the bandwidth
or connectivity that a good VOIP connection requires.
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1 thought on “Old Technology on the Road”
Today I got a PDF of a document I was supposed to sign and send back. I printed it, signed it, slapped it onto the flatbed scanner, made a PDF of it, and e-mailed it back.
I haven’t owned a fax machine for years.