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GammaLink intelligent fax boards, Frequently Asked Questions.


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Archive-name: fax-faq/GammaLink
Posting-Frequency: Bi-monthly
Last-modified: 1995-09-25
Version: 4.0.5

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge




       GammaLink Frequently Asked Questions v4.0.5, 25 Sep 1995.

       This is a list over common problems and questions about GammaLink's
       products. It is based on my experiences with technical support on
       GammaLink products and information from others, support engineers as
       well as customers. I currently work in technical support at Traffic
       Software, Iceland, and has therefore no connection to GammaLink
       other than they are one of the boards supported by our LAN fax
       software, Object-Fax. I will not be held responsible for any errors
       in or misuse of the information contained in this document, nor will
       any one else. I also have an Object-Fax FAQ that can be of interest
       to Object-Fax users.

       Copyright 1993-1995, Lennart Regebro. You may copy this document for
       personal use. If you want to redistribute this FAQ, please contact
       me first. This is so make sure that everyone that wants to
       redistribute this document always has access to the latest version.
       Keepers of Usenet FAQ archives do NOT need to ask me for permission.
       I do not view that as redistribution, as it is a part of the Usenet
       distribution apparatus.

       If you want the latest version, you can get it with World Wide Web
       in http://www.traffic.is/faqs/gffaq.htm or with FTP from
       ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/. If you do not
       have direct access by FTP or WWW, the rtfm.mit.edu site supports FTP
       by mail; send a message to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu with the
       following lines:

       send usenet/news.answers/fax-faq/GammaFax
       quit

       If you don't have Internet access I can add you to a list of people
       that get this FAQ faxed directly to them whenever I update it.

       I may (or may not) be reached at:

       Traffic Software
       PO Box 12445, IS-132 Reykjavik, Iceland
       Tel: +354-587 7150, Fax: +354-587 7155

       Internet: lennart@bump.traffic.is, http://www.traffic.is/~lennart/

       For more information about GammaLink products and a pointer to your
       nearest dealer, you should contact:

       GammaLink
       1314 Chesapeake Terrace
       Sunnyvale, CA 94089
       Phone: +1(408) 744-1400
       Facsimile: +1(408) 744-1900

       http://www.gammalink.com/





       Contents

       Part 1. Comparisons with other products .........................3
       1.1     What is GammaFax? .......................................3
       1.2     What is GammaLink? ......................................3
       1.3     Ophh, isn't that very expensive? ........................3
       1.4     So, what's the difference? ..............................3
       1.5     Does GammaFax have a CAS interface? .....................3
       1.6     What's the difference between the GammaFax boards? ......4
       1.7     Can I mix and match GammaFax boards? ....................5
       1.8     Short summary of features ...............................5

       Part 2. GammaFax XP/CP ..........................................5
       2.1     Install crashes on my new fast 486!  ....................5
       2.2     Install worked fine, but the software doesn't.  .........5
       2.3     Problems with sending and receiving .....................6
       2.4     How can I prevent queue-file fragmentation?  ............7
       2.5     National character problems .............................7
       2.6     I can't start the dispatcher ............................7
       2.7     I get strange non-reproducible errors ...................7
       2.8     Error status 3500 .......................................8
       2.9     Only one page will be sent ..............................8
       2.10    Does GammaFax work with Windows?  .......................8

       Part 3. GammaNet/Networks .......................................8
       3.1     How can I use my GammaFax board from a network?  ........8
       3.2     My fax board doesn't send when my network is started ....9
       3.3     Sending from another computer in the network.  ..........9
       3.4     Problems with LAN Manager or LAN Server .................9
       3.5     Problems with Banyan Vines ..............................10
       Part 4. GammaFax development ....................................10
       4.1     GPI vs. CAS .............................................10
       4.2     GPI and XP boards .......................................10
       4.3     What is the real-time interface? ........................11





       Part 1.   Comparisons with other products

       1.1  What is GammaFax?

       GammaFax is a high-end intelligent fax board for PC compatible
       computers with ISA or MC bus. The GammaFax boards are the most used
       intelligent fax board on the market (according to GammaLink).

       1.2  What is GammaLink?

       GammaLink is the company who makes the GammaFax boards. They also
       have other products related to faxing. GammaLink is a wholly owned
       subsidiary of Dialogic, who makes other equipment for computerised
       telephony like voice boards.

       1.3  Ophh, isn't that very expensive?

       Yes. The GammaFax board IS expensive compared to fax modems. That is
       because it is an intelligent fax BOARD, not a fax MODEM.

       1.4  So, what's the difference?

       Why can't I just use a much cheaper fax modem?

       Maybe you can, but if you want your fax communications to be fast,
       reliable and easily expandable, you should really consider
       intelligent fax solutions instead of fax modems. For example, don't
       try to use more than four fax modems on the same PC-computer
       simultaneously. Since fax modems are interrupt driven, there will be
       an enormous amount of interrupts choking the computer. GammaLink has
       support for up to 30 lines in a single computer. It works too, and
       24 lines send faxes with only 17% processor usage on a 33 MHz 486.
       This is because intelligent fax boards have their own processor and
       memory, which does all the hard work.

       I know of only three intelligent fax board makers, GammaLink,
       Brooktrout and PureData. The Intel SatisFAXion line of boards has
       been sold to PureData, who also makes its own line, Faxination.
       SatisFAXion boards are not necessarily intelligent boards. Some of
       them are, but the rest of them are simply internal fax modems with
       CAS drivers. So, if you buy SatisFAXion, be sure that you get the
       intelligent boards. You might also want to check out the I3 third-
       party drivers for SatisFAXion. At least if you are doing multiboard
       faxing. Since I haven't had any experience using Brooktrout, I can't
       say much about these boards.

       1.5  Does GammaFax have a CAS interface?

       Yes. There is a file called GCAS.EXE that gives you CAS interface
       support for GammaFax boards. GCAS.EXE is not officially supported by
       GammaLink. It also has a couple of problems. The first one is that
       there is only one official version (1.0), but I have found three
       different EXE files. Microsoft call one of these 1.02, but I'm not
       sure which one. The other problem is that GammaFax boards don't
       support DCX files, which many applications use. You need to use PCX
       files instead, which are supported by both GCAS and other CAS
       implementations.




       The I3CAS driver is a third-party driver that works much better. It
       is available from GammaLinks BBS.

       1.6  What's the difference between the GammaFax boards?

       There are three basic types of GammaFax boards, XP/CP, XPi/CPi and
       MLCP boards.

       The XPi and CPi can be viewed as newer versions of the XP and CP.
       The biggest differences are that the XPi/CPi boards use a removable
       sub-board for the line interface, to simplify manufacturing of
       international versions. The CPi has a couple of extras, like support
       for V.17, the 14.400 BPS fax standard, Error Correction Mode, Group
       4 compression and built-in DTMF support. The XP/CP line is still
       there because the XPi/CPi line isn't approved in all the countries
       that the XP/CP line is.

       With the XP and XPi you can have up to four boards in the same
       computer, but with the CP/CPi you can have up to 16. Also the CP/CPi
       can be used with the real-time interface (see 4.3). The CP and CPi
       boards are available in MicroChannel versions. There is also the
       CPD-board, a version of the CP board made for DID circuits.

       The MLCP (MultiLine CP) boards, usually called CP-4, CP-6 or CP-12,
       has four, six or twelve fax channels on each board. The CP-4, come
       in four versions, CP-4/AEB, CP-4/MVIP, CP-4/SC and CP-4/LSI. The
       AEB, MVIP and SC versions have no line interface, instead they use a
       telephony interface (either AEB, MVIP, PEB or SCSA) to talk to other
       boards that have a line interface. This can be used of you have
       voice boards, or if you have a T1 line that you want to use for
       faxing. They can also be used with DID line interfaces. Because of
       this not all combinations of multiline boards and interface boards
       are compatible with the normal CPi board, however if you use one of
       the SC boards together with Dialogics SCSA line interface boards you
       should be able to get full compatibility. I haven't tried this
       myself yet.

       The PEB interface is compatible with the SCSA interface, so if you
       are using PEB boards, you should get the SC fax boards. The CP-4/PEB
       board mentioned in some GammaLink version is from my understanding
       just an old name for the CP-4/SC. The board was renamed when SCSA
       accepted PEB as the standard. The CP-6/SC and the CP-12/SC are like
       the CP-4/SC, only with 6 or 12 lines instead of four.

       The CP-4/LSI is simply four CPi boards in one, and are fully
       compatible with CPi. It will not be approved in countries requiring
       hardware modifications from the US standards. If you want multiline
       boards with approval in your country, then use the CP-4/SC together
       with the Dialogic LSI line of boards. They are approved in many
       countries.

       The newest addition to the GammaFax family is the CP/100 board. It
       is a cute half length board that seems to be exactly like a CPi
       except that it is much smaller and has no speaker. It also has the
       switches and LED's accessible without opening the computer.




       1.7  Can I mix and match GammaFax boards?

       No. I have been told that you can mix XP with XPi, and CP with CPi
       boards. You also can mix XPi with CPi, but then you can't use more
       than four channels. You couldn't mix XP with CP boards earlier, but
       that may have changed, but you would still have a four channel
       limitation. If you have XP boards and need to use more than four
       channels you can upgrade your XP/XPi to a CP/CPi. You should be able
       to mix any kind of CP and CPi boards, including the multiline
       boards. You can have up to six multiline CP boards in one computer.
       Two CP-12 and one CP-6 would then give you the maximum of 30 lines!

       1.8  Short summary of features

       - Latest version of the GammaFax software is 5.3
       - Intelligent, reliable sending
       - Support for DOS, OS/2 and Unix (SCO or Interactive)
       - Intelligent queue-handling
       - Application transparent expanding of fax lines
       - Tool kit for DOS, OS/2 and Unix available
       - Up to 30 lines per chassis
       - Most boards support V.17, ECM, MMR & DTMF
       - Network transparency

       Part 2. GammaFax XP/CP

       2.1  Install crashes on my 486!

       Don't worry. When starting install there's this snazzy graphics part
       that doesn't work on fast computers. Just lower the speed during
       install (by releasing the Turbo button if there is one, otherwise
       you should be able to do it with the BIOS setup), and it will be
       fine. Version 5.2 and later uses a different installation program,
       and doesn't have this problem.

       2.2  Install worked fine, but the software doesn't.

       I have a fast 486 with Micro Channel bus.

       You'll need a special version of the dispatcher, made for 486's with
       MC-bus. Call your distributor. I BELIEVE, but I'm not sure, that
       this is fixed in versions 5.0 and later.




       2.3  Problems with sending and receiving

       2.3.1     I can't send and/or receive faxes, and I can't find
       anything that's wrong. What should I check?

       Start with this:

       1. Check that the wall socket is working by connecting a telephone to
          it and dial somewhere. Please note that in some countries, like
          Norway and Sweden, you can't use the same cord for the telephone
          and the fax modem. The telephones there have often a different
          pin-out than the normal American.

       2. Check that the cord between the wall and the board is connected to
          the upper socket on the fax board, and that the active cords are
          connected to the two connectors in the middle.

       3. In the file GFAX.$DC there is a line 'GFXSHUTDOWN 1 0'. Be sure
          that it really ends with 0. Otherwise the board will just send or
          just receive faxes.

       2.3.2     When I start the GammaFax dispatcher everything seems to
       be OK. However, when I send a fax or try to send one to the GammaFax
       board, the card will pick up the phone but it will not try to
       connect. After that the board seems to 'get stuck', and won't
       respond. Is the card broken?

       No, probably not. The most frequent cause for this is that you have
       loaded the wrong binary file to the board. There is two binary
       files, GFXCP.BIN and GFXCX.BIN. GFXCP.BIN are used for ordinary XP-
       and CP-boards, GFXCX.BIN are used for CPi, MLCP and CP boards that
       has a DFX daughter board installed. I would guess XPi uses
       GFXCP.BIN.

       2.3.3     When I look at the queue with the FAX menus the sending
       fax is marked BUSY, but when the board dialled the number I heard
       that it wasn't BUSY. It sounded as the board made a normal
       connection to the receiving fax machine. What's wrong?

       Nothing. BUSY doesn't mean that the answering end was busy, that is
       status 3931. BUSY means that the queue record is busy, i.e. being
       processed. It's the normal state for faxes being sent.

       2.3.4     One or several of the faxes in the Queue are 'BUSY' but
       nothing happens. What to do?

       This could have several causes. Firstly, the view of the pending
       queue in the fax menus will not be updated unless you exit the view
       and enter it again. If that doesn't help you probably haven't loaded
       the dispatcher. If you have, then the dispatcher may have stopped
       working. Try to reset the queue file with GFQRESET. Now the faxes in
       the queue shouldn't be marked BUSY any longer. If the faxes become
       BUSY again, the dispatcher is up and running, otherwise you have to
       start the dispatcher, or restart you computer. If that STILL doesn't
       help, try to defragment your queue-file.

       If the record in the queue-file that is marked BUSY isn't a fax, but
       a font file, defragmentation of the queue-file is the hottest tips I
       have.




       2.4  How can I prevent queue-file fragmentation?

       First you should restart the computer without starting the
       dispatcher. Then delete the queue-file. Defragment you hard disk
       with a disk defragmentation utility like Norton's Speedisk. Then
       create a new queue-file with 'GFQRESET -p3 -q2 -rn', where 'n' is
       the number of record you want, say 50. Then run GFQRESET with the
       same parameters every time you restart the computer. If the queue
       file still become fragmented, try increasing the number of records.

       2.5  National character problems

       When I'm sending text files my national characters won't appear or
       there will be strange characters instead. Why?

       GammaFax will remove all non ASCII characters from text files. That
       way some older and simpler word-processing formats could be sent
       without modification. This means that all characters with ASCII-
       value 127 and above will be removed, as well as all lower than 32.
       Include the line 'GFXEXTEND x y' in your GFAX.$DC file. 'x' is the
       number of the fax board, usually 1, and 'y' should be 1 to include
       characters above 127 or 2 to include all characters. This will make
       your national characters appear. If you are using a code page other
       than 437, they will indeed appear, but not correctly. The default
       fax board font is code page 437, and you have to load a new font to
       the fax board to yield the correct results with other code pages.
       You should be able to receive those fonts from you dealer. I have
       fonts for code pages 437, 850, 862 and 865. There are also fonts
       that use Windows code page, so you can send text files created in
       Windows, and still get your national characters right. If you need
       other code pages than these there are also utilities available for
       creating fonts of your own.

       2.6  I can't start the dispatcher

       I received an error message looking like this:

            ERROR: Sent 4096 bytes in message, but -3 were consumed by
       driver
            13:11:18:1: gfdFlushBoard+++ Board has died 1

       What's wrong?

       Your fax board has too little memory. Starting with v4.4 the
       GammaFax software needs 512KB memory on the GammaFax boards, and
       many older boards only have 256KB. Upgrades are available from your
       dealer.

       2.7  I get strange non-reproducible errors

       Any ideas what to do?

       Errors that are hard to reproduce might be caused by having a too
       old ROM revision on you GammaFax board. If the ROM is marked with a
       year earlier that 1990 you should contact your retailer to upgrade.




       2.8  Error status 3500

       When I send faxes the faxes will get the error status 3500,
       ``GFX_NOTCOMPATIBLE, Queue record ID/ROM ID mismatch.'' What kind of
       stupid status is that?

       Some applications demand CP boards, for example Lotus Notes. Using
       those software's with XP boards usually results in this error
       status. There are XP to CP upgrades available from your dealer.

       2.9  Only one page will be sent

       When I try to send to a specific fax I always get an error status.
       The recipient says that he receives the first page sent, but not the
       rest. Why can't I send to this fax?

       I have experienced this problem with some Swedish fax machines of
       the brand Teli or Televerket. These fax machines do something wrong
       in the handshake between pages. Insert the line 'MODEMCTRL x 1076 1'
       where 'x' is the fax board number, into your GFAX.$DC. It causes the
       fax board to ignore that protocol error and continue. Since I don't
       know of any problem with having that command in the GFAX.$DC file I
       recommend it to everyone in Sweden.

       2.10 Does GammaFax work with Windows?

       Yes, and no. Windows is an inherently unstable environment in some
       ways. Amongst all the things it does is a lot of so called 'context-
       switches'. Occasionally a context-switch may not be advertised
       properly by Windows, and which will cause the GammaFax dispatcher
       (and much other software) to crash. The result of this is that if
       you start the GammaFax dispatcher, Windows will crash somewhat more
       often, about once a week according to people who tried this. A
       normal Windows installation would crash a couple of times a week in
       any case, so the difference might not be that big. Best way to get
       rid of this problem is to put the board in a PC not running Windows
       and move the queue-file to the network. If you have to run Windows
       on the computer with the GammaFax boards, exit Windows when you're
       not using it. Otherwise, it works fine. Using a fax modem is not a
       solution, since this will cause more trouble that the GammaFax
       boards would, just different trouble.

       My limited testing of GammaFax and Windows 95 indicates that the
       GammaFax dispatcher doesn't work if you load it from AUTOEXEC.BAT.
       Loading it in a DOS-box seems to work though. If you only run the
       dispatcher you can run it in foreground mode in a DOS-box. If you
       also run some other DOS-software you could probably load the
       dispatcher in background mode in the same DOS-box as the other
       software.

       Part 3. GammaNet/Networks

       3.1  How can I use my GammaFax board from a network?

       Since the GammaFax boards work well on networks, you don't actually
       need anything extra. But the GammaFax software included with the
       boards don't have any support for sending faxes from inside
       applications. That is what most people want from their network fax.
       There are lots of different software to do this, both for DOS,
       Windows and OS/2.




       A good bet is to use the software of a GammaLink Fax Server partner.
       GammaLink knows who these are, so call them or call your GammaLink
       distributor.

       3.2  My fax board doesn't send when my network is started

       What can I do?

       You probably are using Novell NetWare, right? Be sure that you start
       the network software before the GammaFax dispatcher, GFDCP.EXE.
       NetWares NETX.EXE does much great magic when it starts, but that
       magic will unfortunately disrupt the GammaFax software. Although I
       only know about this kind of problem with NetWare, It is recommended
       for all networks to load the network before the GammaFax software.

       3.3  Sending from another computer in the network.

       The dispatcher will work with the network software loaded, but I put
       the GammaFax queue file GFAX.$QU on a network server, so I can reach
       it from other network stations, or use it with network software
       (cc:Mail, GammaNet, Object-Fax, etc.). It works if I send a fax from
       the computer with the fax board, but not if I send it from somewhere
       else. This ought to work, isn't GammaFax network transparent?

       Yes, it is. Just make sure that you have set the time correctly on
       all the computers that are using GammaFax. Every fax sent will be
       marked with a time and date so you can delay sending to later. If
       you don't set a time and date, it will be marked with the current
       time and date. So, if the computer used as a fax gateway is a week
       behind the computer from where the fax was put into the queue, the
       fax will not be sent until next week. Utilities for time
       synchronising are usually included with your network.

       Also, don't forget that the file that you send has to be available
       from the fax gateway with the same path and name as from your
       computer. You can't send the file C:\FOOBAR\FROTZ.TXT, since C: is
       your local hard disk. The fax gateway will then look for the file on
       its own local hard disk. You have to copy the file to a network
       drive that is common for both your computer and the gateway. If you
       have GammaNet, it includes a utility called FAXN. It is a modified
       FAXM that will do the necessary copying automatically.

       3.4  Problems with LAN Manager or LAN Server

       I have set up a fax gateway on my LAN Manager or LAN Server network,
       but the dispatcher will stop working very often. What should I do?

       There has been some problem with using the GammaFax DOS dispatcher
       on LAN Manager and LAN Manager derivatives. This is fixed in version
       5.0 and later of the dispatcher, but if you still experience this
       problem there's an easy way out. Get the OS/2 version of the
       dispatcher from your dealer, and install the fax board in your LAN
       Manager server. Since the OS/2 version doesn't have this problem the
       system should now be more stable. If not, then the GammaFax software
       wasn't the problem. You might also want to try the GFDSHIELD command
       used to fix problems with Banyan Vines.




       3.5  Problems with Banyan Vines

       I have problems similar to the LAN Manager problem above, but I have
       Banyan Vines. Will 5.1 fix those problems?

       Yes, with version 5.1 features a new undocumented configuration
       command, GFDSHIELD. Try to insert a line first in the GFAX.$DC file
       like this:

            GFDSHIELD 0xnn

       Where nn is the software vector for the hardware interrupt your
       network card is using, according to this table:

            IRQ  Vector    IRQ  Vector
            2    0A        9    71
            3    0B        10   72
            4    0C        11   73
            5    0D        12   74
            6    0E        13   75
            7    0F        14   76
            8    70        15   77

       Part 4. GammaFax development

       4.1  GPI vs. CAS

       GammaFax supports two interfaces, the GammaFax GPI and Intel CAS.
       Which should I use?

       It depends on what you're after. The GPI is a much better API and
       gives you much better control over the faxes and the fax sending.
       Using the GPI will also lessen the overhead needed since there will
       be no CAS to GammaFax queue conversion.

       CAS, on the other hand, doesn't restrain you to use only GammaLink
       boards. In a way it is a choice between high and low end. CAS
       enables your customers to use cheaper boards, the GPI gives you the
       high performance and reliability you want. However, the GammaFax CAS
       interface isn't officially supported by GammaLink.

       See also 1.5

       4.2  GPI and XP boards

       It says that applications developed with the GPI can't use the
       cheaper XP boards. Why not?

       Actually you CAN use the XP board with GPI developed applications,
       but it wasn't officially supported before version 5.1 of the
       GammaFax software. Since both the XP and CP boards talks to the
       queue file in the same manner, the application putting records into
       the queue file aren't aware of what kind of card that is actually
       used. Therefore you can use XP boards without any problems, as long
       as you are only communicating with the boards through the queue
       file. That is the normal way to do things, so don't worry. However,
       with the GPI you have another option, you can use the real-time
       interface to talk to the boards. This didn't work with XP and XPi
       boards before version 5.1.




       4.3  What is the real-time interface?

       Usually you communicate with the fax boards via the queue file using
       the GFD functions. This usually causes a couple of seconds of
       delays. With the real time interface you get closer control over the
       sending through real-time status information. This might be useful
       in certain situations, but it does make things more complicated, and
       using the real time interface might prevent you from using the
       cheaper XP boards. It also means that you have to run your software
       in the same computer as the GammaFax dispatcher. Usually not a
       problem, but it is one of the nice features of the GammaLink API
       that you have complete transparency of OS, networks and number of
       boards, which you will lose when using the real-time interface.

       The real-time interface is made up by the GFD and GFV functions. You
       should also beware that the real-time interface changed between 5.0
       and 5.1. Applications using the real-time interface compiled with
       the 5.0 GPI will not work with the 5.1 dispatcher, and vice versa.

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