Despite being hailed for its techno-innovation, Japan is a little more traditional than many people think – over half of homes apparently still contain fax machines. The country’s businesses and government organisations continue to rely on the legacy technology to transmit important documents, while 59 per cent of households …
Re: Oh how I have enjoyed
You do realise you can fax files straight from your PC?
Re: Oh how I have enjoyed
Sure do. But that's no good if they're expecting you to fill in a form by hand with block caps or a signature and date etc...
Not just in Japan
We still recieve over 2000 customer statements a day by fax. Lots of small companies don't have scan to email facilities, but a £30 fax printer will do just fine
and bring back TELEX next
I USED TO LOVE SENDING TELEXES. I COULD TYPE IN CAPITALS AND NOBODY TOLD ME TO STOP SHOUTING.
Re: and bring back TELEX next
Noticed they are still in use in large marine industry. Those old fashion billionaires still insist on tested, reliable tech. Eww.
Re: and bring back TELEX next
* old fashionED
I hate fax machines
Always have done, always will do. They never used to work for me and usually resulted in many, many phone calls along the lines of:
"I' faxed that 2 hours ago, did you get it?"
"Ok, I'll send it again"
"No still not got it, oh hang on, its out of paper, I'll put some in (Cue sound of fax machine splurting back in to life) yeah, something's coming through now, oh, it is 7 copies of that document some one in legal needed yesterday but didn't get. Right, yours is coming through now, ha, it is the one you sent 2 hours ago, oh no, its out of paper again now, hang on, I'll have to nip and get some more....."
"Can you resend it again, the one I've got printed out is very faint, yes, printing all those other faxes used up all the toner"
"No, still not got it, hang on, its out of paper..."
The guys who made Office Space got it right about fax machines, I fantasise about destroying them in the same way they do.
A4 LOAD LETTER
It was a printer wasn't it?
and it was "PC Load letter? what the f*** does that mean?" Load A4 would have been too helpful an error message.
I much prefer "lp0 on fire" and "not a typewriter".
It means "You have not changed the default paper size in Word from US Letter to A4. Please cancel the print job, change the settings in Word and send the document to the printer again with the correct paper size."
How else are they going to get in touch with Morrissey?
1. Fill in timesheet
2. Get manager to sign timesheet.
3. Fax timesheet
4. Get paid within a month.
More and more common method:
1. Get sent login to flaky third-party 'self billing' website.
2. Spend much frustrating and wasted time working out how to enter time into awkward flaky user interface which looks like it was created by a student.
3. Wait for email to be sent to line manager for approval.
4. Chase up email that never got sent, or arrived, or was never replied to.
5. Eventually get paid 2 months behind invoice date.
I remember spamming by fax.
Japan is curiously traditional in some things. My missus taught English out there, the teachers got paid via a large bundle of notes in a rubber band left on their desk in the staff room.
Re: I remember spamming by fax.
You remember it? Spam seems to be the only thing our office fax machine prints out, albeit once every couple of months.
... was 'tweeted' by William Gibson a few days back. (This was my first look into the world of Twitter- I was curious to see Gibson's take on Prometheus, since it re-used an idea from his Alien 3 script)
Neuromancer was written on a typewriter, and subsequent books-in-progress would be printed everyday, just in case all the computers failed : D
Ah yes, FAXing. Does one place a "9" before the number or not. Seemed to me that whichever method I guessed was always wrong. some offices ran the FAX line through their PABX, others didn't. and NONE of them told you whether you needed the extra digit or not.
Believe it or not
Another popular use for faxes - domain name registrations.
Because, ya know, that web thing is not to be trusted
Actually the Japanese quite often use old tech as well as new because they tend not to replace stuff if it's still working. I found it rather amusing to see old terminals and dot matrix printers in the station where you get the Shinkansen from.
There's another reason to use fax: security. As another elReg article of this day notes, "the internet never forgets". But the telephone isn't the internet. (Your telephone may vary.) I write the message, I fax the message, you get the message. Our faxen hang up. There are two paper copies, but unless our phone has been tapped, there is no electronic copy to be found twenty years later by some geek halfway around the world.
Of course sooner or later assorted governments will tap and record everything, and that security will be gone. But at least the person you're looking to get a date with, or a job, won't have it.
Japan's high tech image is only skin deep
Everyday life in Japan is pretty low tech.
Everything seems to be done via snail mail. Online accounts (for utilities, govt services, train tickets etc) are generally not available. As a small example, when flying almost nobody checks-in online in Japan. (I once spent 30 mins walking a Japanese couple though a successful online check-in, and then when they eventually got to Narita they still queued up for 45 mins at a normal check-in desk.)
Internet banking is available, but is just a portal by which a real bank clerk is given instructions to perform the tasks requested online. ATMs typically shut down around 9 or 10pm (thank god for Citibank!) Most mobiles and public telephones are incapable of dialling overseas. And a modern Japanese kitchen is like something from 50s America. Even a hand operated rotary tin can opener had my mother-in-law fascinated.
The exception is of course toilets and baths, where most of the available technology in a typical household is to be found.
But the thing about Japan is even though stuff may be old or low tech, it's always perfectly maintained. Things are rarely 'out-of-order' in Japan.
Re: Japan's high tech image is only skin deep
Knowing Japanese, I admire their "use technology when it really enhances a process" and "don't re-invent wheel" attitude.
Is there a more practical/ fast way to send less than 5 pages to another location? If there was and they ignored it, that would sound weird. The real issue is ever rising need for paper.
I'm so old
I can even remember not seeing any point in our company having a fax machine. What would we do with it?
Then we got one....
Sniff an email arriving?
Do you remember the first email you got, exiting wasn't it, less so now perhaps.
There was a time when the smell of an incoming Fax had a little intrigue, simpler times.
Where are my slippers nurse?