Do you remember the era of Fax machine?

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It is time to talk about history, and today, I want to remind you of the old telecommunication machine

Fax Machine as it is been called was first created as early as May 27, 1843, although not as old as the normal land-line telephone, of course, came moments later after the advent of the Land-line. For those who care to know;

A Fax machine sometimes called telecopying or telefax is the telephonic transmission of scanned printed material (both text and images), normally to a telephone number connected to a printer or other output device. The original document is scanned with a fax machine (or a telecopier), which then print out the message sent from another user. Furthermore, a Fax machine is designed to both send and receive documents, hence, it has a sending and receiving part.

The sending part of the Fax is a bit like a computer scanner, with a CCD (charged-coupled device) that scans only one line of a document at a time, and only in black and white.  Crudely simplified, it looks at each line separately, detects the black areas and the white areas, and transmits one kind of electric pulse down the phone line to represent black and another to represent white (just like saying “black” and “white”, in fact). The phone line transmits this information almost instantly to a fax machine at the other end. It receives the electrical pulses and uses them to control a printer. If the receiving fax hears “black”, it draws a tiny black dot on the page; if it hears white, it moves along slightly, leaving a white space instead. It takes about a minute or so to transmit a single page of writing (or a complex drawing) in this clumsy but very systematic way.

The Fax is like a modern land-line, although the only distinctive difference between both is that one can print out the information or messages from the inbox while the other cannot. To be honest, in my own opinion, there was no major reason to own a Fax, except if you are working in an office environment when you sometimes need to get information received typed and documented immediately. It is like having a mailbox on your land-line alongside with a printer to make a clerk’s duty very swift.

Furthermore, the Fax also requires a network, and sometimes data to be able to function properly, which means you have to stay connected in most cases

Pros and Cons of a Fax machine

As useful as the fax machine is, it definitely has its own flaws, and if care is not well taking while using it, you can easily fall victim of expensive errors.

Some of the setbacks in using a Fax machine include the fact that most fax machines use low-cost thermal printers that burn images into the heat-sensitive paper (fax machines like this typically use tight rolls of paper rather than sheets). The paper is quite expensive to use, fades very quickly, and can’t be recycled in the usual way. It also takes a long time to send a fax: if it takes a minute per page, a 30-page document will take over half an hour to transmit.

Another drawback is the crudeness of faxed documents. A fax machine senses areas of black and white by shining a bright light onto the page it’s transmitting and using photocell (light-sensitive electronic components) to measure the light reflected back again. The photocells transmit when they see white areas and don’t transmit when they see black. In other words, they can’t distinguish shades of gray (or what printers call “half-tones”). That means a photograph or artwork sent by fax will lose much of its detail and may even become completely unrecognizable at the other end.

we could keep talking about Fax machine, however, I will conclude this article by saying that the Fax machine is not totally into extinction, rather, it depends on your taste, as it is been used in some occasions, even in this era (in most cases within a large office setting).

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