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Fax To Pc - Reflections on the Fax to PC Process

increased office efficiency more streamlined storage online fax services

Faxes, as most people know, used to be documents based information sent over the telephone lines. As early fax machines scanned documents, varied voltages where created and transformed into sound frequencies that were then sent over telephone lines and decoded by a reverse process at the other end. Fax machines of this traditional type persisted until the late 1990s, but today are seldom used.
Modern day fax machines are all digitally oriented. Many fax machines still use telephone lines, but the means of encoding and decoding documents is digitally based. This increasing digitalization also means that there is an increasingly easy communication between fax machines and pcs.
A common form of this fax and computer connection is the ability to send and receive faxes directly from a computer and/or automatically save these faxes on the hard drive. This can be very handy indeed. There are two main advantages to this increased integration. They are increased office efficiency and more streamlined and centralized storage.

Increased Office Efficiency

Before fax machines and computers could talk to each other easily, sending a fax was an entirely different matter than sending an email or doing any other work on the pc. These were two distinct pieces of technology with no real compatibility. Thus, an office professional wishing to fax an item had to get up from the computer, go over to a fax machines, and initiate the faxing procedure. Getting up and walking across the room takes time. Thus there was a drop in overall office efficiency,
In the fax to pc process, an individual can initiate the fax by using an interface on the computer. It takes no more time than clicking a few menus and icons. The image document must still be scanned of course, unless it is already on the computer. But there is often no need to fool with buttons on the fax machine itself.

More Streamlined Storage

Another big advantage of the fax to pc connection is the ability to store documents automatically to a pc hard drive. Since the fax machine and the pc can talk to each other in a hassle free way, it is a simple matter to set the pc to record each fax that is sent or received and store it in a specified folder. This leads to a more centralized and easily accessible sense of storage than on the fax machine.

Online Fax Services

Though a user can perform all of these functions on their own, there are some “online fax services” that offer all kinds of bells and whistles related to the fax to pc theme. These services essentially handle all of the busy work of faxing while the user need only access a pc and possibly a scanner to scan in documents. These are paid services, but they really free up the mobility and convenience of the whole fax process. Usually more people have access to pcs than to fax machines, therefore a larger group of people can participate in the fax process. These services even allow users to send faxes from laptop computers or anywhere they can find an Internet connection.

It is commonly known that technology tends to move toward integration as it evolves. What begin as distinct or distantly related elements gradually, through a need for standardization and compatibility, evolve into integrated systems. This is definitely the case with the fax to pc connection. What began essentially as two streams of data transfer technology – telephone transmission and computer data transmission, are becoming more and more able to communicate easily.
A somewhat abstract or generalized conclusion that can be drawn from this is that integration leads to increased efficiency. There is less energy (both in terms of human resources and in terms of changes in or duplications of data modalities) wasted when technologies are successfully integrated. The fax to pc connection is a classic example of this. Today’s fax machine is not much distinguishable from a simpler computer that is optimized for scanning and use of phone lines.
The case of fax to pc transmission is especially interesting because you have two technologies that essentially set out to do the same thing – manipulate (send, receive etc.) data. They evolved along different lines simply due to their differing emphasis on transference of visual data and because the telephone network was already in place while the Internet was being built. They thus eventually have resolved their differences and are very similar in nature, while at the beginning such an integration was not easily possible owing to various logistical factors.
The fax to pc process illustrates in an interesting way how over time, not only people but things learn to talk to each other. Convergence and integration are not only desirable from an efficiency standpoint, they suggest a more involved state in which analogous connections are progressively clarified and simplified.

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