Archive for Telecomms

Fax to email

Fax to email is perhaps one of the most interesting, oldest and most overlooked technology.

These days although it seems like everyone has an email address, there are businesses that rely on their fax machine asif its their only means of communication to the outside world.

However, we can’t always be around to man a fax machine 24/7/365, so usually you’re left with a number of options:

  • Wait until you return so you can check your fax machine
  • Get someone else to check your fax machine, then send them to your current location
  • Tell people sending the fax to send to a different number depending on your location at the time
  • Tell them to scan it in and email it to you
  • Tell them not to bother at all

As you are probably aware for businesses that are none stop 24/7, if you are unable to reach critical information it is possible to loose business.

There is really only one solution…

That is you must have a computer, broadband, a fax modem, a phone line, and a piece of software to tie it all together.

The software you require must do the following functions:

  • Receive faxes
  • Send faxes via email.
  • Distinguish the difference between voice calls and faxes
  • Act as an answering machine if a voice call is received
  • Have some method of remotely accessing or sending voice messages

So far the only software I have found that will do this task is called FaxTalk, in particular FaxTalk Messenger Pro 7. This software is GREAT! It has the following features:

  • Complete voice messaging and fax solution.
  • Access contacts from Microsoft Outlook 2000/2002/2003 and Windows Address Book.
  • Send faxes over the internet to any email address.
  • Forward received faxes and messages by email.
  • Access received faxes and voice messages in Microsoft Outlook.
  • Receive calls and send faxes when logged out of Windows 2000/XP.
  • Block the reception of unwanted junk faxes.
  • Process received voice messages and faxes using notification rules.

And so much more, the list is endless! This is the ultimate solution.

However I didn’t stop there…

I also looked other fax to email solutions including fax gateways.

Tiscali offer a fax gateway to all of their members, and since its free to signup to Tiscali, its available to anyone. Once your signed up and logged in, you simply assign yourself a new number and you can receive faxes via email/webmail via your new number as of immediate effect.

There are many other broadband providers (such as Demon) that offer a similar service free providing you have a business broadband package with them, unlike BT, who simply are unaware of such a service.

Another fax gateway to have a look at is, apparently its free!

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Getting your mobile unlocked

I get asked quite often if I know how to get a mobile phone unlocked, so this is my experience…

I was given a Motorola V525 as the original owner had an upgrade. They are on the vodafone network, and I am on O2.

When I put an O2 simcard in the phone it asked me to “Enter Subsidy Password” (other phones may say “Enter Special Code”), I tried a few random numbers (probably about 15 by the time I had finished), and the phone locked up. Displaying the following: “Contact Service Provider”, and it will not go away.

However, there is a solution I found at:

Q: I keep getting the following prompt on my Motorola after I insert another sim card “Contact Service Provider” ?
A: That means wrong unlock code has been entered already!
(This message appears after many wrong subsidy or special code entry)
Power on phone and wait between 30 min to 8 hours till Enter Subsidy or Special Code
message appear again! (Please note that phone should be powered on during this time).

I left it turned on, and charging over night, and came to it the following day, it asked me for the unlock code.

After reading this forum I discovered that you CANNOT unlock the Razr V3, or V525 or any other Motorola simply by providing someone with your IMEI code.

As far as I can see there are only THREE ways around this:
1. You need a datacable (~$10) and MotoPhoenix ($25) — It seems this guy here has achieved it using a datacable and some choice software…
2. Contact your phone carrier/operator or service provide (O2, Orange, Vodafone, T-Mobile, etc) and ask them for the unlock code, like this guy did.

They will ask you for the following details:

Mobile Telephone Number:
Customer Account Number:
Full Name:
Full Address:
Date of Birth:


3. The third way involves using buy methods, such as buying from ebay, or, but as these methods are completly untested (by me), and they don’t tell you how it works, I wouldn’t advise them.

I used method 2, and after a few emails back and forth, and a phone call from the previous owner, I was provided with 2 unlock codes and told that one of them would work.

I have since then used the same method again with Vodafone ([email protected]) for a Motorola V3X, this time I simply put a request for the unlock code, and provided them with the details (as above), within 3 hours I had a reply from them, as follows:


Good Afternoon Mr. XXX,

Thank you for your email to Vodafone about the network unlock code (NUC) you requested. I’ll be happy to assist. Your NUC is as follows:



I hope this information is of use. Please contact me if you require any further assistance.


Best wishes,

Neil Breeze
Vodafone Customer Services

This worked no problems, so I sent an email back to them congratulating them on their quick response, which makes a change.



The thing that has been bothering me recently most of all, even more than online spam and junk mail, are telemarketing calls. I recently had an increase of unwanted telemarketing/telesales calls.

So I went stright onto the BT website, and went to their contact phone numbers list, I then called the “Malicious Calls” number on 0800 661 441.

They advised me to call two numbers, the first was BT Privacy at Home Service on 0800 121 8000. They told me to first signup to the Caller Display service (which is completly free, and takes about 24 hours to become active), and to register with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), you can also choose if you want BT to call or not (I chose no).

You can also register with the Silent Call Guard on 0870 4443969 registration is free, lasts for one year and takes no more than 28 days to become effective.

Although I HAVE signed up to all these services, I have to wait 28 days for anything to happen so I am STILL getting calls.

Did you know?

  • Most telemarketing companies use a tactic called “predictive-dialing”. Basically what this means is that their computer auto-dials your number, assuming it will take you about 2 rings to pick up, before switching you over to the next available telemarketer when you do pickup, so as not to waste the telemarketers’ time while waiting for you to pick up, after all, time is money to them.
  • Due to “predictive-dialing” if there are no availible telemarketers, the computer will hang up.
  • Also due to predictive-dialing, you get a delay before someone says anything, apparently often they wait until you say “hello” twice before they pickup, therefore DO NOT say “hello” twice, as dialers register a single hello as an invalid number.
  • Finally, when you suspect you are getting one of these calls (usually calling from an unknown or withheld number) simply pickup, and do not say anything, if you hold on the line, you may eventually hear a message that is designed for answering machines explaining that you have received a call from whoever is calling.

So I have decided to take matters into my own hands, the following list is simply a collection of things you can do while you wait for these services to come into action.

  • Ask the caller to remove you from their database and put you on their “DO NOT CALL” list.
  • You can report the caller to UK Data IT who will research it for you.
  • Read the Ofcom Silent Calls FAQ – useful if your not sure what to do.
  • Enigma Anti-Telemarketing Software v1.2 – An american based peice of software to make logs of callers.
  • How to stop telemarketing calls – A useful website with information about telemarketing calls.
  • Anti-Telemarketing EGBG counter-script – A counter script to use on telemarketers.
  • Dealing with Telemarketing Slime – Counter-Telemarketing Tactics – Telemarketing Scum Page.
  • Telemarketing Blocker – A free Caller ID screen software that retrieves caller’s telephone number using your voice modem.
  • JUNKBUSTERS Anti-Telemarketing Script – Another counter script, american based.
  • Telemarketing – A wikipedia definition.

Note: This document is aimed at UK anti-telemarketing only, I have no idea about outside of the UK apart from what I have read.


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