Router, Fax, & Print server?


Active Member
Would all of this be possible to run on one machine?

A few things I would like to be able to do:
-print server, I have an hp jet direct ex plus 3 which uses parallel ports, but I just bought an all in one usb scanner/printer to save some desk space. I would still like to at least print from any computer
-fax - I get too many spam faxes, would it be possible to run a fax server/service which would get faxes and email them as attachments to me so I can filter out the junk? - found out a few mins ago that my dad plans on canceling the fax line. Is it still possible to run this off the home phone line and only pick up on incoming faxes?
-router-not sure on this one...if it can improve network performance over my netgear wgt624 (which keeps resetting every half day or so), I'm game.

System specs:
mini tower, Antec true power 330 (just yanked out the generic 145w ps a few hours ago)
AMD k6-2 400 mhz proc
128mb ram...might be able to bump up to 196 with my extra chip lying around
unknown brand matx mobo, sis chipset, built in graphics, sound
~8-20 gig hd w/hd fan
netgear 10/100 pci networking card
usb 1.0
lite on cdrw

I tried to install a 10/100/1000 Intel 82540EM gigabit adapter. It conflicted with my netgear card, so I will troubleshoot it later.

One thing that concerns me is that my new all in one (epson cx4600) us usb 2.0. I am hoping the epson is 1.0 combatible. Otherwise with 2 nics, and a modem, I wont have room for a usb 2.0 card on this matx mobo. I have another system with a similar configuration (atx, epox 3pmpv3g-m mobo, k6-2 450mhz) lying around, but besides the larger size, it has a few issues which I need to address first if I plan on keeping it on 24/7.

Anyone have any suggestions or which direction to head to? I am pretty sure I will have to install a form of linux on this computer. I know a few basic commands like ifconfig, but that is about it. I'm always willing to learn new things :lol:
USB 2.0 is backwards compatible with USB 1.0, so your printer will work fine. However, I would just buy one of those $40 print servers, which turns any USB printer into an IP based printer, can't beat that. As for the faxes, not sure, you might want to look at or something, which emails you the faxes. You are definitely going to need extra software if you want these faxes emailed to you, using your PC. CPU wise, you would be ok, I used to run Windows 2000 server with a print server, all my home automation and some other stuff on a P2 200 with 256 megs of ram.
1. Plugging your Epson into the USB 1.0 is fine, plus you'd still get to keep the all-in-one features which a print server would defeat.

2. You can try something like WinFax which receives faxes and then forwards it to email, but you'd still need a dedicated number to receive faxes. eFax is probably your best bet.

3. Don't know much about routers, but I think you'll need a Linux setup to make something effective.
Thanks electron. I was wondering, would there be any difference in network performance if I use a linux pc instead of one of those over the shelf routers? I used to have a netgear wgr614 acting as a router (and dhcp server) with another router (smc barricade 7004abr) attached to it as a switch, then finally a netgear wgt624 acting as a wireless access point. The wgr stopped working, so I replaced it with the wgt.

Yeah, I currently have a print server, but it is only a 3 port parallel. Is there a such thing as parallel to usb adapter. I know the converse exists as I own one, but have no use for it. If I could do that, then I could probably use something like this:
Belkin part# F1U401 if the link does not load, to split the device between being a printer attached to a print server and an AIO directly to my main computer. I also saw a post about a new networking device which lets you use all the functions of aio, but network them.

I may have to rethink this fax idea if it needs a dedicated line. My parents just cut the fax line off so it would need to run seamlessly on the home phone and only pick up when it is supposed to. Does linux have any fax programs? If I were to run a dedicated computer,at this point, it would most likely be linux as I do not have any HA devices.

AIO = all in one*
As for the fax issue, if you don't mind paying for some software, you can get something like this: (free trial) (cheap too!)

As for the router issue, I personally have a dedicated machine running Linux, just because it's so much more flexible, but you do have to know what you are doing, as the last thing you want is a linux firewall which has huge seurity holes ;) What about the best of both worlds:

a Linksys WRT54G, which runs linux already, but apply this 'firmware': , which will add many nice features to the linux operating system on that router.
Thanks electron. I think I will just leave my setup how it is. Last thing I want is to make it worse. I'll check out that linksys router. I worked for linksys for a couple of weeks, I dont know why I bought netgears

Just curious, you said you ran win2k and HA software on a p2? How was the performance? Besides my primary computer, I have an athlon 1.4 sitting here which is not being used. I also have this k6-2 system which I am hanging on to because it is a lot more quiet and probably uses less power to run than the 1.4. Wondering if it is worth hanging on to or selling.

ot: If the routers run a modified linux kernel, then what does the ms router run?
Only a few select Linksys routers run Linux, I am pretty sure MS isn't running Linux on their routers, that would be sin ;) P2 performance wasn't bad, but I think the K6-2 might be a little worse, those processers were a little slower than their intel counterparts. The athlon 1.4 on the other hand is a great cpu, my secondary MCE machine runs a 1.2Ghz cpu, so there is a lot of stuff you can do with it.
Thanks for the info. I was starting to lean towards selling off the k6-2 systems anyways. I'll keep you updated on how the linux goes