HylaFAX, which was renamed from FlexFAX for trademark issues, was released to the public in 1991 by Sam Leffler while working at Silicon Graphics. While the project had seen a period of hiatus starting in the mid 1990s, it has since been revitalized by an enthusiastic public, myself included.
I first started looking into HylaFAX around 2003 when researching for a free, open-source, and configurable solution to enterprise FAX for a family business that would allow field sales personelle to send and receive FAX’es while they’re not in the office. I knew services like eFAX and jConnect exist, and offer free services for incoming FAX’es, but they didn’t have phone numbers in Taiwan, where the family business resides, and frankly, I just wanted to play around with a pet project.
I initial plan was to setup an old AMD K6 that was lying around and try Redhat 6 on it, but the antiquated ISA FAX modem proved too difficult to locate a Linux driver for, and at the time Linux hardware support was very frustrating.
Today, several polular Linux distributions come with HylaFAX packages, and is a lot more compatible (or tolerant) with a wide range of hardware. It is now fairly easy to setup a spare laptop (say, post-2004) with Ubuntu Hardy and have it as a mobile FAX server. I’ll provide the details later, if you’re interested…