Scanning, Faxing, and the Internet

By: kristines

The fax machine is one the most frequently used office devices in the corporate world. The word “fax” is actually the short for facsimile, a term derived from the Latin word “fac simile” which means “make similar” or “make a copy.”

This telecommunications device is used to transfer copies of documents with the aid of an additional device like the telephone. This appliance enables documents to be sent from one fax machine to another in about six minutes. However, the modern fax machine can send fax messages in only matter of seconds. Several world-class companies were involved in the development of the fax machine. One such company is Xerox, considered to be the pioneer in the copy machine industry. The fax machine was first marketed in 1966 and revolutionized the way companies reproduce, send, and receive documents. Fax machine technology, however, has been around for more that 100 years. The first-ever fax machine was actually invented by Alexander Bain and was patented in 1843.

The fax machine works by scanning a particular document before it is sent. Because of this task, the image scanner is a necessary component of the fax machine. The first image scanner was developed by a team led by Russel Kirsch in 1957 at the U.S. National Bureau of Standards. The first image scanned on this device was a 5 cm. square photograph of Kirsch's three-month-old son. This image had a resolution of 176 pixels on each side. Kirsch's scanner used a sensitive light-detecting tube called a photomultiplier to translate the parts of the image to black or white square pixels.

Bain's fax machine and Kirsch's scanner, later combined with Internet technology, has totally changed the way telecommunications work in the 21st century. The Internet enabled many people to perform different task that were not possible only some years ago. Mails that took days before being received became a thing of the past because of e-mails and online chatting. These improvements in telecommunication also changed the way people live, work, and relate to each other.

Traditional faxing has merged with the Internet and made faxing easier, faster, and more efficient. Internet faxing or e-fax is a general term that is used to describe faxing with the use of the Internet. It is also economical because the use of another device like the fax machine is no longer necessary. This frees consumers of the hassles of buying additional paper, inks, and toners which are all necessary to run traditional fax machines.

Moreover, Internet faxing does not require additional accessories or configurations, not even another phone line. All that one needs to do internet faxing is a computer with an Internet connection and an active e-mail account. To avail of this Internet faxing service, all one has to do is visit an online faxing site and sign-up. By signing up, consumers are allowed to gain access to incoming and outgoing fax messages. These messages are accessible to most parts of the world where there is Internet connection. Indeed, the hard work put in by Bain, Kirsch, and other developers of the fax machine and the internet faxing technologies have allowed us to experience unrivaled reach and ease in terms of communicating with the rest of the world.

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