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Subject:FAX Machines From:"Maureen J. Akins" <csvmja -at- ADMIN -dot- AC -dot- EDU> Date:Mon, 21 Jun 1993 16:47:56 EST
I think that the distribution of information is important to each of us.
Therefore, discussion of the limitations of faxes is appropriate. (I
receive a fair amount of technical information via fax.)
Most people are somewhat familiar with fax machines attached directly to
phone lines (not connected to a computer). You feed the paper in, a copy
of the image is sent to the other end, you get your original back, and the
image comes out at their end. Your document could be graphics or text; it
doesn't matter which because the fax machine converts it all into images.
With this style fax, you can send registration forms, quotes, technical
information, etc. Depending on the machine, special fax paper can be used
or regular paper. Fax paper is more versatile than plain paper, but the
image tends to fade quickly. So, you should always make a copy of the fax
to preserve the information. The thermal fax paper is more expensive than
regular paper. While not all faxes can take regular paper, most will take
the thermal paper. You don't have to worry about fading when using regular
paper faxes, but they tend to be strictly 8.5 x 11 paper. Information
received can sometimes be split between pages.
With a computer-based fax, the usage of the fax changes slightly. Incoming
information is stored in a bit-mapped image. OCR (Optical Character
Reader) software is needed to translate the information into something
your wordprocessor can handle. Paper copies exist only when you print out
the resulting file. Getting a fax/modem is easy these days. What is not
as easy is preparing a fax for transmission. If you are trying to fax a
registration form that you received in paper form, you either have to
recreate the paper or scan it into your machine. If you have a computer
based fax but no scanner, you will find yourself very limited in the ways
you can use your fax.
Preparing information for faxing needs a awareness of the capability of
faxes. I have had to reject some technical information that was faxed to
me because a color-based image didn't come across clearly. If your firm is
using faxing, you might remind them that colors come out as black or grey.
Maureen Akins, Support Specialist
Augusta College Computer Services, 2500 Walton Way, Augusta GA 30904-2200
Internet mailing address: makins -at- admin -dot- ac -dot- edu
PHONE: (706) 737-1484 GIST: 337-1484 FAX: (706) 737-1773