Unless you work in PR – and let’s face it, you’re better than that – you probably don’t know that the last remaining use of the fax machine seems to be for magazines to send something called ‘colour separation’ request forms in knee-jerk response to receiving product press releases. The form is filled out (or not), faxed back and some poor sod at the magazine then has the job of editing the several hundred words of puff into 50 words or whatever to fit in next to a picture.
Even this residual function of the fax is probably doomed. Which makes me feel old because I believe I have witnessed the complete life cycle of the fax machine. I remember, when on placement in the mid 1980s as a student at a firm in Loughborough, a secretary (remember them?) encountered a fax for the first time, stood beside the machine feeding the same sheet of paper through it over and over again unaware that the machine didn’t actually send the paper itself. Oh, my stars, how we laughed. Well, thank goodness we’re all so much smarter nowadays and nobody will ever again be befuddled by a simple piece of new technology.