Faxing and Zombies: 2 Things That Won’t Die

Friday, October 11, 2019

Zombies and Fax

Have you ever seen one of those planned demolitions of a large office building? The implosion itself is an amazing site, but what’s even more unbelievable is what you might be able to see after the dust settles if you look closely. Rubble, rubble, collapsed walls, destroyed floors, more rubble… hey, there’s a fax machine!

Because faxing will not die.

In fact, now that we think about it, fax machines are a lot like zombies. Don’t believe us? Let’s look at what they have in common.

7 Overlooked Similarities Between Zombies and Faxing

1. They’re both resilient.

Just when you think it’s dead, a zombie gets back up and starts walking toward you again.

And how many times were you sure faxing was done? Email was going to kill it. Text messaging was going to kill it. File-sharing apps were going to kill it. But guess what? Even today, you may still need to send a fax.

Because every time, just like a zombie, faxing gets right back up and starts screeching and hissing, “You can’t kill me!”

2. They’re both essentially brainless.

We’ve described the technology behind an analog fax transmission in another post, but basically what happens is the sender’s fax machine scans each page slowly, saying to itself, “Duhhh, this little area has something on it and, duhhh, that little area has nothing on it…something, nothing, something, nothing.”

When it’s finished examining every tiny dot on the page, the machine screams at the top of its electronic lungs—you know the sound—until the recipient’s fax machine hears it. Then these two dumb plastic boxes exchange a series of loud, nonsensical belches and hisses.

Doesn’t this sound like how two brainless zombies would communicate?

3. They both move really, really slowly.

You’ve seen the movies and the TV shows. In almost every one, zombies move pretty much in slow motion. So do most faxes.

A fax machine scans each page, dot by dot, and then slowly sends that information over the phone lines. And we mean slow—as in dial-up slow.

Email is always in such a rush. And have you tried uploading a document to one of those cloud file-sharing apps so your coworkers can see it? It’s like a lightning-fast blur compared to an analog fax transmission.

4. They both make horrible noises.

Have you noticed how zombies are always making some sort of awful noise? It’s a hiss, then it’s a growl, then it’s a screech. But it’s always horrible and painful to listen to.

Email doesn’t make any noise—not unless you tell your device to ding or buzz when you send or receive a message. But faxing, well, faxing makes the most awful sounds of the whole electronic world. Every time you send a fax or receive one, your machine goes all SCREECH! GROWL! HISS!

Yep, just like a zombie.

5. They both strike fear in people.

Admit it: When you get an email asking you to complete a form, sign it—and fax it back—you think, Oh, #%^$! I’ve got to use that thing? I’m not even sure I know how.

Yes, faxing, like zombies, can strike fear into even the most tech-savvy professional.

6. They both break easily.

One good thing about zombies: You can usually kill them pretty easily if you know how. They don’t seem to be held together by much, so one whack usually drops them. (Not for long, though. LOL.)

Fax machines, too, are really fragile. The paper-feeder breaks. The machine jams. Some angry coworker smacks it after the fifth busy signal. (Can you blame her?)

7. They both keep you on your feet.

You can’t afford to get distracted or comfortable during a zombie apocalypse. You’ve got to stay on your feet, metaphorically and literally.

Fax machines also keep you on your feet—although usually that’s just because you’re waiting for the machine to finish transmitting your document, or because you keep walking back and forth from your desk to see if that @$*# incoming fax finally finished printing.

Bonus: They both totally bite!

Sorry. Couldn’t help ourselves with this one. But it’s true.

Because Faxing Is Clearly Here to Stay…

Whether there’s actually anything to this zombie-fax machine parallel, it’s clear that faxing is going to be around for a while.

But just because you’re going to need fax capability for the foreseeable future doesn’t mean you need to keep dusting and feeding paper into that old zombie-like machine on your desk. Our advice? Ditch the fax machine—and get yourself an online fax service.


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