DEATH OF THE FAX MACHINE!
7/4/01 The end of the fax machine era was correctly
forcasted. I think we have used it once or twice since the beginning
of 2001, I only get asked for our FAX number about once a month, hardly anyone
seems taken-back when we say we no longer use a FAX machine, all of our vendors
have switched-over to E-Mail, all of our customers use E-Mail, and most of
the junk mail is now via E-Mail--lot's of it, sigh!
few months ago I came into work to our Mom 'n Pop computer shop and found
the usual "pile"* of junk FAXes waiting for the "trash can" and
thought to myself, 'Why are we continuing to pay for a dedicated phone line
to receive this garbage; why am I wasting my time reading this junk (a much
more laborious task than skimming through E-Mail); and why are we continuing
to operate a machine that is technologically obsolete?' Having discussed
getting rid of the FAX before, I said to my wife, "Enough is enough,
please call the phone company have them disconnect the third phone line." "Are
you serious?" "Yes, please just do it before I change my
mind again." We kept the FAX line/number and started using it
instead of the third phone line for the Internet, and it is now connected
to the Internet all-day-long.
*Actually, years before we had started
receiving FAXes on our NT file server instead of with a FAX machine and
sending them via a Sharp FO-365 thermo FAX machine. The FO-365
has the ability to route incoming FAXes to a PC FAX/MODEM.
My intention at that point was to continue
receiving FAXes during off-hours by moving the phone line from my MODEM to
the FAX machine when I went home for the day. I announced this to the
world on our Web site etc. and encouraged our vendors and customers to use
E-Mail or the phone instead of sending us FAXes. I also looked at FAX
services on the Internet and decided FAXing wasn't worth the effort. It
was time to start cutting the cord.
As time went by, I kept forgetting to move
the line at night, our vendors (the ones that counted) and our customers
shifted to E-Mail. With exception of rare annoyances, the FAX machine
was forgotten. We have only connected it a couple of times during the
workday since the phone line was removed. Now, it's as dead as the
TELEX was many years ago! Sooner or later everyone will be getting
rid of (or not replacing) their FAX machines. I think sooner. We
don't miss ours. It's dead!