February 13, 2015

Office Clean Up: Fax Line and Spam

For whatever reason, this was a good week to do some clean-up and tech organizing.

First off, my fax line. Way back in 2007, I noted the way my professional need for a dedicated fax line had changed (I was renting space in an office building at the time). Nevertheless, when I set up my New Britain home office in 2009, I opted in for a second landline in the place to be used as a fax line.

Somewhere along the line, I gave up that second line (probably about the time my Comcast TV / Internet / Phone bill started to hit the pain threshold and I bought a digital television), I cut the video cable and probably let go of that second phone line.

Not wanting to lose the cachet of a dedicated fax line, I signed up for a digital fax service, OnlineFaxes to be specific. For $36 bucks a month I get a dedicated, 860 fax number, and 25 free pages per month. I almost never receive any faxes, but I at least have the capability.

Today I *finally* got my in-office tech up to speed - plugged my all-in-one printer / scanner / fax into my voice phone circuit (so I could send a hard-copy fax if I needed to), set up the header to reflect the "new" digital fax number, and programmed the fax machine to pick up "after" my landline goes to voice mail (which is to say, never)

Faxes are all but dead, I know, but it's nice to have the capability.

On the spam front, I spent some time trying to shovel sand against the sea of spam. I've owned my powerlines.com domain since the dawn of the internet, and have been using my primary email address since 2001 or thereabouts. So I get a *lot* of unwanted email. And while a pile of that is clearly spam that is not going to change regardless of my actions, a second pile is stuff that I have deliberately or inadvertently opted-in to over the years. It's not that big a deal on my dedicated computer - I have spam filters, junk filters, folder filters to move stuff around and my in-box is traditionally a dozen or so emails a day. But on my phone or tablet - well, there are 100s of emails every day to scroll through. 

So this week I set out to thin the email herd a little bit. I sorted my SPAM / JUNK folder by sender, and for anything that looked like opt-in email (SPAM comes in 1-2 day waves, opt-in stuff comes pretty consistently) I chose to either accept it (setting a filter to dump it into a semi-organized / useful folder, such as "electrical newsletters" or "consumer" or "musical" for places I do frequent) or to unsubscribe.

It's a huge task (over a decade of not really paying attention) but I think I'm making some inroads. the work continues....

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