Thursday, June 4, 2015

Is Faxing Still Relevant?

Like the telegram*, teleprinter and typewriter, the fax machine has all but been made redundant by history and technological advancement.

Each, in its own era was an excellent innovation. I recall using both teleprinters and typewriters when I was an 18 year-old serving in the Royal Australian Air Force. Later, I found the fax machine and thought it was a wonderful piece of equipment; stick a piece of paper in a slot, press a few numbers, press send and zippo ... it's gone.

For the past few years it has been possible to send a fax message from a multi-function centre like a photocopying machine. It's also possible to fax from your email. The latter seems a round-about way to do something, but the fax from email system will deliver a fax message to a physical fax machine or as an Adobe PDF file direct to email inbox.

Now, there are fewer people and businesses using faxes. Email has become the choice for transmission of documents.

Is there still a use for faxes?

One benefit that still exists is the ability to send fax advertisements to organisations with fax numbers.

It's probably fair to say that people are still using faxes, but in time, after fax machines break down, they won't be replaced and people will stop faxing. The facsimile will go the way of the telegram.


* Telegram: it was a printed document sent through the post office (at least in Australia) by Morse code from one destination to another. To raise a telegram, you'd complete a small form with the words you wanted, including the street address, pay for the telegram based on the number of words and it would be sent. Obviously you needed to keep words to a minimum to reduce the cost as in this message from son to father and the father's reply:

From the son: "Dear dad, no mun, no fun, son".
Reply from the dad: "Dear son, so sad, too bad, dad".

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