Smile History: PageSender, A Fax Story

Greg Scown Blog, PageSender, Smileworthy

PageSender

On June 12, 2018, Smile celebrates our 15th birthday. In this series we’re looking back at some of our history. Hope you enjoy!

I shipped PageSender 1.0 on April 23, 2002. I distinctly remember literally jumping up and down at the first purchase. This was back before I met Philip and one year before we became the Smile we are today.

PageSender wound up as fax software, but it took a circuitous route to get there. It started life as a Print Dialog Extension (PDE) which could email anything you could print, complete with access to your address book contacts. As an added bonus, PageSender offered support for sending faxes via the eFax.com online fax service.

Listen to Your Customers

Version 1.0 proved to be a great example of how important it is to listen to your customers. Immediately after shipping, the requests for sending via fax modem started to arrive. Without expertise in faxing, this presented a challenge. Eventually, my search led to the open source “efax” command line utility, plus “The Fax Modem Sourcebook,” ordered from then-bookseller Amazon.com. Most of the coding was done during a week spent at a Cape Cod vacation rental with my parents and grandparents.

Original PageSender Screenshot

PageSender 1.1 introduced support for sending via fax modem as well as support for multiple recipients. Apple laptops from that timeframe included built-in fax-capable internal modems, plus there were some fairly good external USB modems from Zoom and others.

PageSender 2.0 added fax modem receive, custom cover pages, and AppleScript support. Looking back, I’m amazed at what I managed to get done in just four months. By PageSender’s first birthday, we had localizations into Japanese, French, German, and Italian, and a host of new features.

PageSender 3.3 brought a new icon and full integration into the SmileOnMyMac product portfolio.

New PageSender Icon

In 2005, Apple seeded developers with Intel-based Macs. I was lucky enough to get one, and so we were able to ship PageSender 3.5.4 as a Universal Binary in January 2006 before Intel-based machines were sold to the general public.

End of an Era

The last version of PageSender we shipped was on April 22, 2010, one day short of PageSender’s 8th birthday. Apple no longer shipped internal modems with their laptops, and faxing was giving way to emailing PDFs. It’s fortunate that by then we had a solid PDF editing product called PDFpen, but that’s a story for another post.

Check out PageSender’s complete release history.

Fun facts:

  • PageSender’s code name was “Go Postal”
  • Macworld San Francisco 2003 was the first public outing for PageSender
  • SmileOnMyMac exhibited PageSender at the last Macworld New York in 2003
  • PageSender 3.1 won an Eddy from Macworld Magazine

Cheers,

Greg,
Smile Founder
Faxing Aficionado

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