Walt Mossberg

Recent Columns by Walt Mossberg

Mossberg’s Mailbox

Faxing with magicJack and Reusing the Windows 7 CD


Can the magicJack Internet phone device you reviewed last week be used for faxing?


The company says: “We do not officially support using faxing with magicJack.” It says it “sometimes” works with fax machines and suggests a number of steps to try this, including turning off error correction on the fax machine and setting the fax speed to the lowest possible, then gradually increasing the speed, testing at each level. However, I would advise thinking of the $40 device, which allows free unlimited domestic calls over the Internet, as a voice-calling product and nothing else.


You said that, if you buy a magicJack, you need to keep it plugged into a PC that’s constantly on and constantly connected to the Internet, to make and receive calls. But what if a call comes in and your computer is off or disconnected?


Even if the magicJack isn’t plugged into a running, connected computer, the service behind it will still record voicemail you receive. In fact, magicJack’s voicemail includes a feature that sends each message as an audio file via email, which will also keep working. You can also check your magicJack voicemail from other phones. In addition, even if a magicJack is disconnected, its number will continue to be forwarded to other phones, if you have chosen the option to do so.


Can I use the Windows 7 CD that came with my Dell (DELL) PC for either the Boot Camp or Parallels installation on a Mac?


I have heard of some who say they have done this successfully, and you can certainly try it. But I strongly recommend using a fresh copy of Windows 7. There are two reasons for this. First, Microsoft (MSFT) licensing policies may block your use of copies of Windows already in use on other PCs. Second, Windows disks that come with PCs are sometimes customized for the particular features of that PC, and might not work properly on the Mac.

You can find Mossberg’s Mailbox, and my other columns, online at the All Things Digital Web site, walt.allthingsd.com.

Top Products in Two Decades of Tech Reviews

December 17, 2013 at 6:04 pm PT

Diabetes Data Beamed to Your Phone

December 10, 2013 at 6:16 pm PT

Two Houses, One Cable TV Bill

December 10, 2013 at 6:14 pm PT

Calling Overseas on Wi-Fi

December 03, 2013 at 6:18 pm PT

Dell Tablets at Bargain Prices

December 03, 2013 at 6:12 pm PT

Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

Walt Mossberg’s Product Guides

Desktop PC’s and Laptops

The Laptops to Buy

Digital Cameras

Digital Cameras Improve Zooms, HD Function