When faxes arrive, you have the option of printing them immediately using the new_fax scripts or simply stacking them up in the queue and printing them manually. In order to have your faxes immediately go to a printer, mgetty+sendfax includes a few scripts to use depending on the eventual destination of your printout. On my system (Red Hat 6.0), the sample scripts are in the /etc/mgetty+sendfax directory. On my local server, we use the new_fax.lj script which formats the output for a Laserjet printer. To use the script, simply copy (or rename) the new_fax.whatever to new_fax.
The web-based menu lists faxes in the incoming queue and allows for printing or reprinting of any given page. Each entry is identified by date and time, sender and page number. Printing the page is simply a matter of clicking on the red button on the right.
Now comes the fun part and the real reason a simple web interface for outgoing faxes became so much more. We had many requests for a package that offered broadcast faxing at a decent price (or free). After checking the newsgroups and discovering that those solutions weren't easy to come by, it was obvious we needed to create one.
The mgetty+sendfax package does allow for broadcast faxing, it turns out. As mentioned above, you can specify a list name by sending to @listname instead of just a user name. This would require a user to maintain a text list on the Linux server. Not too difficult, but what about our Windows users who would rather not see the shell prompt or deal with vi? It is for those users, after all, that we are doing this.
Click on the “Update Broadcast Fax Groups” link from the MultiFax menu. You will be presented with a list of current fax groups. See Figure 4 for an example. You can add a new group, modify an existing group, or remove a group from the list. The basic installation has no groups yet, so you will have only one choice—to add a group.
Let's start by adding a group called “Customers”. Choose “Add a new fax group” from the list, or simply click on the radio button with the same name. Then click on “Submit Request”, and you will be presented with the group update screen. This is the same screen you would see if you chose an existing group and wanted to modify it. The only difference is your group name is blank at this time. Enter Customers and tab over to the next field.
Initially, the form has ten rows for names and phone numbers. When you have filled in all ten, you can continue adding more names by clicking the button labelled “Modify an Existing Group”. If you need more than ten, just go back to the broadcast fax menu, select your group (Customers), click on modify, and you will get another ten fields of names to add. In fact, you will always have ten free fields.
Finally, you have the option of removing groups which have become dated or no longer apply. Removing a group from the list starts with the same menu. When you click “Submit Request”, you will be prompted with the confirmation request, “Are you sure you want to do this?” after which the group will be permanently removed.
MultiFax has a fourth menu option with simple, guideline-only documentation. The MultiFax distribution comes with some READMEs and documentation that should answer any other questions that might crop up. Using what's there, you could customize the solution to your own ends.
Regardless of what you are prepared to spend for a commercial fax solution, there is no such thing as “plug it in and your whole network is up and faxing thirty seconds later”. You, the beleaguered system administrator, will have to do some of your magic to make it happen. Using these instructions, you can create a Linux/Windows network faxing solution that is dependable, inexpensive and fairly simple. Add the web-based fax administration software to that package, and you can unload some of the responsibility of administering network faxing to your users.
Besides, as system administrators, you've got other more important things to worry about—like printers, but we won't go there.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide