I remember the day when it arrived. We had prepared a special place for it in the file room. A sales rep brought it in, unpacked it, plugged it in and we all gathered around to witness its majesty. I had bought my first fax machine.
Back then I was determined to stay on the bleeding edge of office technology for small law firms. One of the first 'boutique' firms in the province to computerize, not only for the support staff, lawyers too. The productivity gain was enormous. It was a wonderful time, I think.
Today, however, the fax machine is the clerical equivalent of the dodo bird, an endangered species seemingly destined for extinction. Blame the Brits if you must.
On Sunday, Matt Hancock, the British health and social care secretary, banned the purchase of facsimile machines by the National Health Service effective Jan. 1, 2019. He also ordered that faxes be phased out completely in hospitals and physicians’ offices by April, 2020.
Oh, but how Canada – a country even more in the poisonous grip of the fax than Britain – could use this common sense initiative.
“We don’t underestimate the enormity of the challenge to remove all our machines in such a short time, but we cannot afford to continue living in the dark ages,” Mr. Hancock said in the release.In my day so much has come and gone - bias-ply tires, drum brakes, plugs and points, carburetors, incandescent light bulbs, betamax and VHS, floppy disks, mini-cams, the once ubiquitous Walkman, corded tools and appliances of all descriptions, on and on and on.
Now it's the humble fax machine's turn to be put down. Such is the fate of the days when men were made of oak and ships were made of iron. Gone, gone, gone.
It's been said that our children are the mirror of our own mortality. Tell me about it. I have a son-in-law who works for Microsoft helping to develop something called blended or mixed reality technology. Apparently it has something to do with layering artificial reality atop normal reality, whatever that is.