Getting left behind by technology? Image #40


Even though I work in IT and come across a wide range of technologies, I’m really still amazed that there are still people out there using fax machines. Most people have access to a scanner (photo on a smartphone maybe, or built into most printers?) and email, so isn’t that quicker?  And aren’t most forms electronic too? So why are they still needed?

I’ve heard anecdotal stories, such as the guy who phoned a company he’d just faxed a form to and asked them to fax it back when they were done with it as it was his only copy.  I also heard about an employee who had noticed they were running low on plain paper, and a colleague suggested they photocopy a blank page and use the copies.

This isn’t meant to be a negative post, it actually started out as a way of sharing a little humour! It was good technology for its time, but is sadly now more or less defunct. I guess it shows just how quickly something that was widely used across the globe can very quickly be left behind by newer and better things.

Its hard to believe, but mobile phones haven’t really been around that long – I got my first about 21 years ago, though at work I had a pager. Email too – I’ve had one of my email addresses for over 20 years, but 22 years ago I didn’t know anyone who had mail. At about the same time, the Internet was a mysterious place with 9600 baud modems racing along to provide cutting edge, rapid connections (which you would hate to use these days – they couldn’t handle the volume of traffic) to bulletin boards and nascent websites with poor graphics. The first PCs I built had 20 or 40 Mb hard drives, and we couldn’t imagine filling one. Now you can buy thumb drives with several Tb of data (that’s a million times the size).  And we won’t even talk about social media…

I saw something the other day that said that all the data created from the dawn of time to 2003 was about 2 exabytes, and that in 2010 people were producing that in 2 days. I’d be interested to know how many hours (possibly minutes or even seconds) that equates to here in 2016.

The only constant in life is change, and in the technology arena that change is massively quick. I wonder where we’ll be in another 20 years.




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