Death to the FAX!

Howdy one and all and a great big welcome back to another fun filled edition of The Weekly Geek!

Man do I dislike the FAX machine! People, please just let that technology die!

About 3 or 4 times a year, I do business with someone who “cannot receive e-mail” for one reason or another. Two of these businesses are HP and Dell – now what in the world! When I have an issue I am trying to resolve for a customer and I want to e-mail the HP “support team” the error or anything for that matter and the tell me they cannot receive e-mails, I just about go ballistic (in my head, not out loud). I have had the same experiences with Dell. These are supposed to be the TECHNOLOGY industry leaders and they can’t accept e-mail? Goodness gracious, e-mail has been around since 1985!

In addition, some of my clients cannot accept e-mails because (they say) they must have a signature to validate the documents / contract. I am not sure what to say but “bull”, have you ever ordered anything on line? Your e-mailing an order without a signature, or pressing the “order” or “accept” button constitutes a “e-signature” and acceptance of the contract.

Now to be fair some places e-mail me documents but then they want me to print them, sign them and FAX them back, get over it people, the FAX should have been left behind January 1st 2000. They are slow (try faxing a 70 page loan agreement on your house), peculiar (see what happens when you run out of paper, two Faxes come in at once or you are trying to type in a FAX number and one starts to come in).

I am not advocating using a “computer FAX” or e-fax service as a replacement. Setting up a computer based FAX is fun in the least and a royal pain at the best, e-fax services can be expensive, they regularly lose documents (I have several mortgage clients that use them or used to use them and page 23-26, 35 and 78 just “disappear”).

I truly don’t want to hear “but e-mail is so confusing” or “but scanning a document is such a pain”. People you learned how to use the FAX you can certainly learn how to scan a signature and “cut and paste” it onto documents (for those neophytes that must have a signature). You also learned how to use an iPod, Microwave and drive that new car with GPS, On Star, digital displays of time, direction and temperature, I am quite confident that you can learn how to use e-mail.

For those of you that just can’t let go, at least get a multifunction printer WITH A MULTI-PAGE document scanner (none of that scanning one page at a time). They are inexpensive and have software that installs at the same time your printer drivers install. You can scan straight to e-mail, a file then e-mail it or a file and then FAX it via your PC or MFC printer.

Another concern I heard from a client was “what about all this data / information theft, couldn’t “they” (hackers) just steal your identity easier?” Well, let’s see, I had my debit card copied and “Stolen” by a waitress at a local restaurant when I paid for my lunch, I had another one stolen and copied when I … well the bank and I still have not figured that one out yet. You and my wife (but not me) are more than willing to use your grocery card to get “discounts” all the while someone is building a database on what you eat, drink and buy, how much you eat, drink, buy and how often you do it. I have a conspiracy theory about that but we’ll get into that later!

Here is the long of the short of it (whatever that means). E-mail everything, if you need to hire a tech to set up your system for the first time, do it! Then get on with your life.

If you need a MFC printer please visit

OK, now I feel better. Until we meet again, have a virus free week.