Internet Faxing: The Cutting Edge of the Paperless Revolution

By: kristines


The word paper comes from the word papyrus, an Egyptian writing material produced as early as 3000 BC and formed from beaten strips of papyrus plants native to that region. However, the invention of paper the way we know it today comes from China. Originally, silk and bamboo were used for writing documents, but because to the expense and clumsiness of those mediums other materials were explored for keeping written records. During the Han Dynasty, a eunuch called T'sai Lun experimented with different types of plant fibers such as mulberry, hemp and textile waste mixed with water to make a pulp which he then placed in a mold and dried in the sun in the form of sheets or thin mats. These thin mats were made not only for documents but also for wrapping medicines, making paper money, and as toilet paper. But because they were so thin and translucent, they could only be printed on one side. When the technology eventually spread to other countries where other fibrous materials such as rice, palm, and linen were used to make paper, the Arabs managed to produce a thicker paper that allowed people to write on both sides of the sheet. However, paper remained expensive until the 19th century with the introduction of steam-driven paper-making machines which allowed the product to be mass-produced. The proliferation of papers coupled with the production of the fountain pen and lead pencils and better educational systems meant that writing was accessible to everyone regardless of wealth or status.

Today paper is readily available everywhere in many different forms, from notebooks and notepads to thermal papers and cardboard boxes. But because of the widespread use of computers and the Internet, the need to produce hard copies of documents printed on paper has lessened somewhat. Some have speculated that in the digital age, the use of paper as a medium of communication is an outmoded idea. However, the rapid changes in technology has kept the use of paper documentation as the most durable and convenient option for long-term record keeping. The pressing issue of pollution and tree conservation has lead people to seek new ways to limit paper consumption. One of these ways is by recycling paper. The other is by furthering the concept of a paperless office, and in line with that idea is the use of Internet faxing.

Internet faxing is a new take on the tried and true concept of sending fax messages. Traditional faxing methods involve the use of an electronic instrument to send a scanned copy of a message in the form of pulses to another machine in a different location using the telephone network. This scanned copy, also called a facsimile, is then translated by the receiving machine onto paper. But with Internet faxing, your fax messages can go straight to your designated email address, thereby allowing you to save not only on paper but on ink, toner and electricity as well. Messages can be saved directly on to your computer's hard drive, on compact discs or any other removable storage device. The system eliminates the need to have a separate machine and dedicated phone line just for fax messages. Because it goes straight to email messages can be received and viewed anytime, anywhere as long as you have access to the Internet. This limits the chances of your confidential messages coming in danger of getting lost, misplaced or of other people violating your privacy by reading them.

Paper is still the most reliable way to store documents over a long period of time. However, by using Internet faxing services for a very affordable cost you can run an environmentally-friendly business by limiting your paper consumption and saving trees in the process.

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