I got the word yesterday that the property I am a mortgage writer on in California has once more gone into escrow. Last time, it fell out of escrow, so maybe this time things will go better. Not that I need the loan to be paid off. I've been getting on-time payments and have no worries about the borrower.
I also started testing out web faxing options, as mentioned last month. I purchased JotNot for the iPhone. That seems to do decent job, although the resulting image can be a little blurry, despite my best efforts to hold the phone as still as possible while taking the picture. For most stuff, it should be ok, but I would not want to use this for real estate contracts or any documents that have a lot of fine print.
Based on reader's comments, I tried using the free service from MyFax.com (www.myfax.com/free) to send a fax. (The free version limits you to sending 2 faxes per 24 hours, but this is keyed off your email address, which has to be valid because you need to click a link they email you to actually send the fax. However, you can get around this limitation by using a disposable email address service such as sneakemail to generate as many email addresses as you want.) Since I still have my landline fax, I tried sending faxes to myself so I could check the quality. In short, I don't think I will use MyFax. The images taken with JotNot (JPEG files) came through so pixelated that they were unreadable. To be fair, I don't think a real fax machine would have done much better, given the blurriness of the source, although being able to set the machine to "fine" mode might produce slightly better results. MyFax also seemed to have trouble scaling. The image sizes I sent were very close to a standard piece of paper (8.33" x 11.11"), yet the resulting fax from MyFax rescaled the image so there was 4 inches of blank space at the bottom and 2.5 inches on the right side.
Click the above picture for full size. These captures were taken at 100% zoom. The top is the source JPEG file from the JotNot program and the bottom is the resulting fax image from MyFax. (The documents I was testing with contain medical information, which I why I am not posting whole page images of the scaling problem.)
Thinking this might just be a problem with the conversion of JPEG images, I used a scanner to create a PDF file as the source for MyFax. Results were a bit better, but there were still unacceptable issues. Text was legible at least but while the scaling problem went away, the last page of the two page fax had the bottom 2 inches cut off. To be sure this wasn't just a fluke, I faxed it twice and obtained the same results.
Click the above picture for full size. These captures were taken at 100% zoom. The top image is the original .PDF file from a scanner and the bottom image is the resulting fax image from MyFax.
MyFax also sends an email confirmation when a fax has been sent or failed to be sent. I found these confirmations to be unreliable. I sent 10 faxes total and received 5 confirmations that the fax was successfully sent, 2 that the fax had failed, and 3 faxes produced no email message at all.
Given that most of the paper I have to fax has small print, I think I will have to buy a scanner to get my paper documents into electronic form. I'll also try some of the other web fax services and see if they produce better results.