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Fax Machine Fate

Below is a notice i got at work, explaining that a fax machine will not be replaced. Fax machines are on the way out everywhere. It's a good thing. They were a "backwards" technology.

For those of you that have been using the FAX near S. ---it is broken and will not be replaced. Please use the fax in the kitchen near me or the fax in the cross hallway near B's office. If you have any problems, feel free to give me a call.


Picture this:

I have a photograph i want to send to someone. First, i photocopy it. This an atom to atom transfer of information. Much detail is lost here. Then feeding it into the fax machine will digitize (convert to bits) the image, losing more information. The fax machine calls the remote number. This is an analog connection, so the fax machine modulates the digital image into analog, some loss. The remote fax machine demodulates the analog signal into digital. Checksums can catch errors and ask for retransmits, so this step has nearly no loss of information. Finally the image is printed, going from bits to atoms, little loss.

So is it any surprise faxes are so ugly?


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