Author Topic: Why wont fax's just die already?  (Read 8067 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline AlfBaz

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2030
  • Country: au
Why wont fax's just die already?
« on: October 21, 2013, 11:42:06 pm »
Especially when dealing with government agencies, they invariably need you to fax paperwork in. I need to rummage through my "bin o' old crap" to dig out an old modem or go to the post office and pay 3 bucks to fax off a page. I just find this ridiculous.

I was around when a fax was essential, back in the day even joke faxes circulated from office to office.

Are regulations and procedures so entrenched that they can't move to present day technology or am I missing something?
 

Online dr.diesel

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2191
  • Country: us
  • Cramming the magic smoke back in...
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2013, 11:46:02 pm »
I have the same feeling for Microsoft Windows....

Utter garbage for some reason needlessly procreates.

Offline c4757p

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7805
  • Country: us
  • adieu
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2013, 11:51:41 pm »
I was around when a fax was essential, back in the day even joke faxes circulated from office to office.

My grandmother works in an office where this still happens!

I'd chalk it up to a distrust of electronics, combined with faxes not "feeling" electronic because handwriting still comes through. Hence why lots of (asinine) places will accept signatures by fax but not by email.
No longer active here - try the IRC channel if you just can't be without me :)
 

Offline Phaedrus

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 714
  • Country: us
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2013, 12:05:12 am »
Because many forms still require a handwritten signature, and electronic signatures are still new and distrusted. Also, DMV drones can't be expected to work out how .pdf files work...
"More quotes have been misattributed to Albert Einstein than to any other famous person."
- Albert Einstein
 

Offline AlfBaz

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2030
  • Country: au
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2013, 12:43:15 am »
Electronic signatures? I had to fill out a form and send it back... Printed it out, filled it in, scanned it and emailed it. Not a damn "iiiihhhhh aahhh grrrhhh sshhhh" sound to be heard :)

As for verification scanned documents are much higher resolution and harder to dodgy up than a fax. Faxes can be bodged without computer skills, simply cut out the required signature and stick it where needed.

 

Offline jolshefsky

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 227
  • Country: us
    • Jason DoesItAll
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2013, 12:45:22 am »
Having just received a form by PDF and spent half an hour fighting with the computer to come up with a paperless solution to filling it out, I understand the reality of wanting to print, fill-out, and return things. It is quite comical to me that in the nearly 40 years that some form of "electronic messaging" has existed that nobody has figured out a way to get a fill-in-the-blank form to work!

So thank goodness for FAX! Friggin' thing just works.
May your deeds return to you tenfold.
 

Offline IanB

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9692
  • Country: us
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2013, 02:25:03 am »
Just today I was asked to fax some documents to have a charge removed from my credit card. I was astonished as I hadn't heard the word "fax" in years. I might ask if I can email scans instead, or maybe I'll just use the fax machine. Perhaps they didn't think everyone has email yet...
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline David_AVD

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2607
  • Country: au
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2013, 02:27:53 am »
We still have a fax line, but not a conventional fax machine.  Each year I keep hoping the rid ourselves of the fax line, but just enough government customers insist on using it.

Incoming faxes are picked up by the server and appear as emails with a pdf attachment.  I'd guess that 75% of received faxes are marketing crap with the opt-out code.  I opt-out every time and it does reduce them, but why should I have to?   >:(

I use an MFC for outgoing faxes, but those are very few and far between these days.  Most forms that need filling out and signing get scanned and emailed back.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 02:29:24 am by David_AVD »
 

Offline Psi

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7587
  • Country: nz
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2013, 02:39:27 am »
The answer is simpler than that.
Fax's can't disappear until after 2015 or it would contradict the future predictions of the sci-fi bible and tear a hole in the fabric of the space time continuum.

« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 02:44:33 am by Psi »
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 

Offline ignator

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 205
  • Country: us
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2013, 02:51:05 am »
I worked with the guy who owns the patent, Dave Nicholas (along with the University of Iowa, where he got his PHD).
They were still suing infringement in 1996. He figured out the huffman code for the white dead space that is sent between the black print lines.
And I agree that it should die. I wish there was free pdf generation without paying Adobe for their software. I understand newer versions of some applications have this built in, but you pay for it.
I've scanned in documents into jpg, gif formats and attach to emails, when signed forms are required.
 

Offline Psi

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7587
  • Country: nz
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2013, 02:55:32 am »
I wish there was free pdf generation without paying Adobe for their software. I understand newer versions of some applications have this built in, but you pay for it.
I've scanned in documents into jpg, gif formats and attach to emails, when signed forms are required.

??  bullzip have had a totally free PDF tool for like 10 years.
http://www.bullzip.com/products/pdf/info.php

You install it once and it adds a new virtual printer.
In any windows program that can print you select that printer. Then when you click "print" it pops-up asking for a file name and where you want to put the PDF.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 02:59:00 am by Psi »
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 

Offline AlfBaz

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2030
  • Country: au
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2013, 03:02:53 am »
I wish there was free pdf generation without paying Adobe for their software.
Cute PDF
 

Offline rexxar

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 439
  • Country: us
    • Forever Tinkering
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2013, 04:49:47 am »
I was around when a fax was essential, back in the day even joke faxes circulated from office to office.

My grandmother works in an office where this still happens!

I'd chalk it up to a distrust of electronics, combined with faxes not "feeling" electronic because handwriting still comes through. Hence why lots of (asinine) places will accept signatures by fax but not by email.

There are some places that will only take handwritten, faxed signatures. You can't stamp a signature on the paper, they'll know.  :-DD
 

Offline poorchava

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1575
  • Country: pl
  • Troll Cave Electronics!
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2013, 05:13:46 am »
Haha,  that reminds me of when they installed 'electronic dean's office' in our university.  And the 'electronicness' meant that you had toprint out the form, fill it and then go to the dean's office by yourself to file it :-)
I love the smell of FR4 in the morning!
 

Offline Rick Law

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2821
  • Country: us
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2013, 05:55:46 am »
Newer and more powerful technology doesn't necessarily means better.

Most old ladies can get a fax at the store, plug it in to the phone jack and it works.  Can't say that for PC's or Pads.

It takes no training for a truck driver to go over to the fax and get the delivery information.  It takes specialized training (SAP, whatever) for the truck driver to log in and print the delivery information...not to mention the cost of the software.

The best solution is the cheapest and simplest one that can do the job with minimal fuss.
 

Offline ignator

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 205
  • Country: us
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2013, 07:46:49 am »
I wish there was free pdf generation without paying Adobe for their software.
Cute PDF
Thank you, I tried searching for a freeware version earlier this year when I retired, and could not find one that runs on win2K, this one does. Thank you.
 

Offline ignator

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 205
  • Country: us
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2013, 07:50:57 am »
I wish there was free pdf generation without paying Adobe for their software.

??  bullzip have had a totally free PDF tool for like 10 years.
http://www.bullzip.com/products/pdf/info.php

You install it once and it adds a new virtual printer.
In any windows program that can print you select that printer. Then when you click "print" it pops-up asking for a file name and where you want to put the PDF.
I tried downloading and install, it says it's compatible with win2K, but on install barfs and says OS not supported. But thanks anyway.
 

Offline David_AVD

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2607
  • Country: au
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2013, 08:51:56 am »
Thank you, I tried searching for a freeware version earlier this year when I retired, and could not find one that runs on win2K, this one does. Thank you.

Someone is still using Win2K ??   :-DD
 

Offline Psi

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7587
  • Country: nz
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2013, 10:03:02 am »
I wish there was free pdf generation without paying Adobe for their software.

??  bullzip have had a totally free PDF tool for like 10 years.
http://www.bullzip.com/products/pdf/info.php

You install it once and it adds a new virtual printer.
In any windows program that can print you select that printer. Then when you click "print" it pops-up asking for a file name and where you want to put the PDF.
I tried downloading and install, it says it's compatible with win2K, but on install barfs and says OS not supported. But thanks anyway.

Maybe try an older version, its been around for ages so there probably was a version which ran in 2k
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 

Offline steve30

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 681
  • Country: england
    • Stephen Coates' Homepage
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2013, 12:01:49 pm »
I can see why fax may be useful sometimes, but why not just use the post?

I deal with government agencies often here in England and the only way to communicate with them is by telephone or post. You pretty much telephone to talk to someone, and use the post for anything else.

A couple of years ago, the Job Centre told me to take something to a Job Centre office to have it faxed (quicker than post). I took it to the office, and they said, 'Oh, we don't fax things; we just post them for you'.

I don't know about other countries, but I don't think fax machines were that popular in homes here. I have certainly never been asked to send anything by fax. I've often encountered businesses that have them though.
 

Offline ignator

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 205
  • Country: us
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2013, 04:43:09 pm »
Someone is still using Win2K ??   :-DD
Yes, it's paid for, runs supper fast on newer cheep (used) hardware. But MS is working at killing it by releasing new versions of web page compiling software, that require browsers that will not run on win2K. So watch it, as pretty soon you will be using an OS that you have to buy apps only from MS, i.e. no 3rd party open source free stuff like open office and such.I paid for multiple versions of DOS, win3.x, 95, 98, and just one 2000 and 7 (which I hate). I like how it works, know where stuff is, and it does not create virtual folders to override where I want files placed.Tell me what new features (if I don't have a touch screen) that latest version of windows provides? Other then win7 forced standard driver interfaces, so you don't mess with them anymore. They still don't have an improved human interface, I don't see where they made the "glue" interface to voice input, or eye tracking input. The don't watch your statistical usage of the machine, so you still do the same repetitive human input mouse operation. I'm waiting for MS to do something new, that I'm willing to pay for. Oh, ya aren't they thinking of the "cloud" for OS download every time you boot. So please, I may be using old stuff, but it works, and has minimal annoyance to me. I know my win2K day's are numbered. So I'll evolve to XP.

 

Offline ignator

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 205
  • Country: us
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2013, 04:48:54 pm »

Maybe try an older version, its been around for ages so there probably was a version which ran in 2k
I tried looking (for an earlier version), but I could only find their web page as a download source, and only the latest was downloadable. It could be my antique FF 12 does not display buttons that may be on their page (I know XP is in my future).
I tried reporting it to them, but could not get past their security keyin.
 

Offline Dagon

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 60
  • Country: ie
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2013, 05:14:42 pm »
Quote
I know XP is in my future

You know support for XP is being dropped next year...
I saw Elvis. He sat between me and bigfoot on the UFO.
 

Offline SeanB

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 15388
  • Country: za
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2013, 05:58:39 pm »
I still have a thermal Panasonic fax in my office, and I use it as a very nice phone with a very good handsfree function, and it works well for this. I occasionally send a fax with it, at least i did send 2(?) this year. I also have a spare one, just in case it breaks. They were going to be thrown away, but I plugged one in and it was better than the phone I had.

As to trailing edge OS's I still have a PC around running Win98, and connected to the network as well, though remoting to it is not good as it tends to crash the desktop on closing the remote VNC connection. Still in use running a phone software as a single app, and I have a backup machine for it as well. Some spare 4G drives as well.

With printing to PDF, it is pretty much a free part of CUPS, and works well.
 

Offline liquibyte

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 475
  • Country: us
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #24 on: October 23, 2013, 03:51:26 am »
Newer and more powerful technology doesn't necessarily means better.

Most old ladies can get a fax at the store, plug it in to the phone jack and it works.  Can't say that for PC's or Pads.

It takes no training for a truck driver to go over to the fax and get the delivery information.  It takes specialized training (SAP, whatever) for the truck driver to log in and print the delivery information...not to mention the cost of the software.

The best solution is the cheapest and simplest one that can do the job with minimal fuss.

You've obviously never been a truck driver.  You can scan your load documents in cab with a scanner over qualcomm now.  When I was driving I didn't have one but all of the major truck stops have the scanners as well.  Not to mention, there are numerous things that you can do in and to a truck that require being geeky.
 

Offline Kryoclasm

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 175
  • Country: us
  • KL3DL
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #25 on: October 23, 2013, 03:54:59 am »
“I predict that very shortly the old-fashioned incandescent lamp, having a filament heated to brightness by the passage of electric current through it, will entirely disappear.” -Nikola Tesla
 

Offline Rick Law

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2821
  • Country: us
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #26 on: October 23, 2013, 03:59:38 am »
Newer and more powerful technology doesn't necessarily means better.

Most old ladies can get a fax at the store, plug it in to the phone jack and it works.  Can't say that for PC's or Pads.

It takes no training for a truck driver to go over to the fax and get the delivery information.  It takes specialized training (SAP, whatever) for the truck driver to log in and print the delivery information...not to mention the cost of the software.

The best solution is the cheapest and simplest one that can do the job with minimal fuss.

You've obviously never been a truck driver.  You can scan your load documents in cab with a scanner over qualcomm now.  When I was driving I didn't have one but all of the major truck stops have the scanners as well.  Not to mention, there are numerous things that you can do in and to a truck that require being geeky.

You are right.  I have never been a truck driver myself, but I had worked with some that logging on was a major learning curve.
 

Offline david77

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 806
  • Country: de
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #27 on: October 23, 2013, 04:13:19 am »
Fax machines still have their place, especially for technologicaly challenged people.
My mum refuses to order the stuff she needs for her classes (home economics) by email. She doesn't believe the supplier
gets them because she doesn't get a piece of paper back that says "Transmission succesfull" and she can't write her order by hand as she's done it for decades. The fax does both and she's happy.
I can't see the problem with that.

Personally I haven't used the home machine much, email's so much more convenient. But I used to use the fax daily in my previous job, the boss insisted on orders being made by fax for much the same reasons.

 

Offline David_AVD

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2607
  • Country: au
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #28 on: October 23, 2013, 04:27:33 am »
Faxes belong in the same antique room as cheques (checks to the USA folk).   ::)
 

Offline BravoV

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6781
  • Country: 00
  • +++ ATH1
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #29 on: October 23, 2013, 05:01:49 am »
She doesn't believe the supplier gets them because she doesn't get a piece of paper back that says "Transmission succesfull"

Imo, this is kind of a hard copy and proof for the return receipt that matter most for those oldies, and it will be much-much easier to use whenever there is a dispute raised because of communication failure, email just can't beat this easily in term of simplicity.

Edit : Imagine this scenario ...
"Hi GMail Support, I'm looking for the proof of the mail that I sent yesterday whether it was arrived & received properly at xxx@yahoo.com or xxx@hotmail.com(GMail competitors), yes, I did tick the return receipt part too. Could you please provide me the SMTP log or what ever mechanism that GMail used to communicate for email exchange with the Yahoo/Hotmail server (again, these are Gmail's competitors)."  :palm:
« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 05:20:23 am by BravoV »
 

Offline Bored@Work

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3932
  • Country: 00
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #30 on: October 23, 2013, 05:48:22 am »
Imo, this is kind of a hard copy and proof for the return receipt that matter most for those oldies, and it will be much-much easier to use whenever there is a dispute raised because of communication failure, email just can't beat this easily in term of simplicity.

In some countries fax receipts got the status of legal proof of transmission of a document. That happened at times when they had a single government-owned telephone network operator, when you had to get your separate fax line and the approved fax machine from that operator, and when the operator configured your machine so it would really only send your number in the fax status line.

What could possibly go wrong? Progress hit. And deregulation. And the laws didn't keep up, so a fax receipt can sometimes still be a good thing to have in case of a dispute.

At my employer we got rid of almost all physical fax machines. One reason was that with every generation of fax machines they got more complicated. Especially when you were only occasionally sending a fax.

Page up or down (no, these artistic icons supposed to tell you the page orientation aren't of any help)? Top or bottom first? First dial number and wait for connection, then insert pages? Or first inserting pages, then dialing? Or insert paper after dialing but before or after connection? When does the thing do automatic redialing? Can the pages be removed already during redialing? Dial *, **, R, #, ## or whatever to get a line? But don't forget to insert one or two 'P's for pause between the * (or was it R?) to wait for a line. Oh wait, it isn't sending anything? Instead, it thinks you are loading it with a template? Well, ok. Lets just hope that no one manges to press the magic button combination to send the template to all numbers in the build-in address book, again. Yes, it happened. New rule from management: Don't have any numbers in the build-in address book. Yeah, if that thing wouldn't like to add numbers to it almost on its own.
I delete PMs unread. If you have something to say, say it in public.
For all else: Profile->[Modify Profile]Buddies/Ignore List->Edit Ignore List
 

Offline BravoV

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6781
  • Country: 00
  • +++ ATH1
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #31 on: October 23, 2013, 06:39:28 am »
B@W,

I have nothing against what you said at all, its just you just can not use that argument while helping oldies like your grandma, aunties, uncles, grandad or your parents that still love to use fax and have strong resistance against email as their serious/biz related communication tool.

Of course if you have no one like above that you really care about >:D , then I'm whole heartedly agree with your fine post there.  ;)

Offline dyazdani

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 5
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #32 on: October 26, 2013, 04:11:08 pm »
Fax comes in handy every now and then (although I almost never use it).  We lost our network for a bit, but kept things flowing over the copper.
 

Offline Electro Fan

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2123
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #33 on: October 27, 2013, 12:09:42 am »
"First the website had all these glitches, and now people are getting a busy signal when they try to apply over the phone. So you can’t use the Internet and you can’t use the phone. And now fax machines are like, ‘Look who’s come crawling back to Mr. Fax Machine.’” –Jimmy Fallon

 

Offline G7PSK

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3698
  • Country: gb
  • It is hot until proved not.
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #34 on: October 27, 2013, 10:25:30 am »
Fax's are used quite a lot still in the engineering world here in the UK and by engineering I mean things like production engineers. Just the other day I wanted some bits machined up I phoned the company chosen for the job and they asked for a faxed drawing , the advantage is speed of changes I fax a drawing they make any changes they might need regards manufacture techniques they have I can then fax back yay or nay for relatively simple stuff its faster than cad and email which goes to the office I get to talk to the man on the floor virtually instantly with sketches of what I want what they can do and any improvements that can be made by the operative with many years of machining experience. 
 

Offline sca

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 68
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #35 on: October 27, 2013, 10:56:30 am »
Just wait until some helpful person scales off your faxed drawing....!
 

Offline David_AVD

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2607
  • Country: au
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #36 on: October 27, 2013, 11:17:30 am »
Faxing drawings is just crazy.  Give me an emailed drawing (dxf or whatever) any day.  Engineering companies that don't use electronic formats annoy the hell out of me.
 

Offline G7PSK

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3698
  • Country: gb
  • It is hot until proved not.
Re: Why wont fax's just die already?
« Reply #37 on: October 27, 2013, 04:17:49 pm »
Just wait until some helpful person scales off your faxed drawing....!

As the drawings for this are usually free hand and I always put do not scale and not to scale I see no problem and if they do not work to my dimensions they have to re do all the work. I am only talking about things like bushes here nothing complicated but if I need a bush fast a sketch with measurements sent via fax means I can send it in and its ready for pickup by the end of the day.
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf