Sending a Fax

Polytropon freebsd at
Fri May 6 17:50:49 UTC 2011

On Fri, 6 May 2011 10:30:58 -0700, David Brodbeck <gull at> wrote:
> On Fri, May 6, 2011 at 3:47 AM, Bill Tillman <btillman99 at> wrote:
> > I read the other replies to your post so let me put in my 2 cents worth. For the
> > last few years, I have basically abandoned faxing in favor of e-mailing PDF and
> > other document files. Paperless is not only more efficient but its green too.

The paperless office is an utopium since the 60's, and
it will be, as printing gets cheaper and cheaper. :-(

> Believe it or not, there are industries where faxing is still the
> norm. 

Don't just think about "big industries", also keep small
businesses in mind - LOTS of them. A manager writes a
letter, prints it, faxes it to the secretary, she then
types it, prints it, and faxes it back to the manager.
In case the manager requires some changes, he phones
her, or makes annotations to her fax and faxes it back.
Then she processes the changes and faxes the result
again. On both sides, it's an inkpee fax. If it's not
used heavily enough, it will dry out.

You think: Stupid! Inefficient! Expensive!

Fully correct. And it's more the _norm_ than the exception,
at least here in Germany.

There are enough businesses that could invest in a
computer-driven fax system (storage instead of paper,
printing if and ONLY IF required), but they are too
lazy in mind.

> Many industrial suppliers want purchase orders by fax. 

This has to do with a legal situation in many cases.
A fax, unlike an e-mail, is often said to have a status
like "letter with receipt", so the statement: "You
did get the message." can be made from sending a fax
and applying the receipt printed by the fax machine
(sending report).

Also printing a text, signing it, and then faxing it
makes it look "more legal".

> It also
> seems to be the common way that pharmacies communicate with doctors'
> offices.  These are conservative industries where email (and
> especially, email attachments) are still viewed with some suspicion.

Except it's a greeting card with a dancing bunny that
requires you to download SALES.XLS.EXE and have fun. :-)

> A lot of times these days the actual endpoint is a digital fax system,
> though; sometimes the fax never actually reaches paper.

In "bigger business", this may very well apply, as the
"huge blocks of software" used there traditionally include
such solutions. Small and medium businesses that use
"one size fits all" kind of software tend to stick to
traditional methods, and in many cases (I've SEEN them!)
they combine them with inefficient methods and expensive

In the past, I've also used the hylafax port with a
regular external serial modem, and it worked perfectly.
I think the moden was an... Elsa? MicroLink something?
Looked like a green toy, but worked very well.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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