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Still using fax machines?
Thread poster: Mario Chavez (X)

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:20
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jan 8

Many institutions, hospitals, private companies and government organizations in America still use (or ask for) a fax number in their forms or correspondence. That anachronistic bit never fails to remind me of a proofreader in upstate New York who insisted on receiving and sending jobs by fax. Paper fax, not the Internet fax variety and certainly no email attachments.

Have you ever had the, um, opportunity to work with someone who uses very, very old technologies?

icon_smile.gif


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Germany Jan 8

Not in work context, but Germans can be very old-fashioned when it suits them. You still see fax numbers everywhere and often no email addresses. My dermatologist will only answer the phone between 9 and 11 a.m., which does not suit me at all, so the only way to make an appointment is by fax or letter. Ridiculous.

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:20
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I used to be fax-able Jan 8

Mario Chavez wrote:
[There once was] a proofreader in upstate New York who insisted on receiving and sending jobs by fax. Paper fax, not the Internet fax variety and certainly no email attachments.


For the most part (except cost), internet fax is the same as paper fax. However, some [often free] internet fax services only allow you to *receive* faxes (e.g. as PDFs in your mail box) but not send. One generally has to pay money to send a fax using an internet service. Free internet fax services are free because the sender pays extra -- I can imagine that some senders may be unwilling to pay this extra fee, but that is their just reward for using smoke signals instead of e-mail.

One service that I used to use (and still have some credit on left) is PamFax. With it, you create a PDF of the file that you want to fax, then upload it, and it gets faxed using ordinary paper faxing (unless, of course, the recipient's fax number is in fact an internet fax number).

Apart from PamFax for *sending* faxes, I have (or had) free fax numbers in the various countries where I expected to receive faxes. These are fax2mail services, but it should not matter to the sender except that the sender pays a higher fee to send the fax.

Have you ever had the, um, opportunity to work with someone who uses very, very old technologies?


As it happens, a client once contacted me to transfer pencil proofreading into MS Word as tracked changes. Their proofreader took the e-mailed DOC file, printed it out, used a pencil to do the proofreading, and then faxed the document back to the client, later telling them that "this is normal" and "this is how all proofreaders do it".


 

Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:20
German to English
No fax, no landline Jan 8

Earlier in my career I considered creating a font "TimesRmn (illegible)" to translate faxes so that they would resemble the document I received. I certainly have not had a request from a client to translate a fax this century.

I maintained an efax service for several years until the volume of faxes I received dwindled to the point that it became prohibitively expensive on a per-fax basis. I used my landline to send faxes, but again the number of faxes sent per year on the landline didn't justify the expense. My customers send me editable documents with very few exceptions, anyway. I charge an extra fee to translate scanned PDF files.


 

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:20
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Varieties of proofreading Jan 8

Samuel Murray wrote:

Mario Chavez wrote:
[There once was] a proofreader in upstate New York who insisted on receiving and sending jobs by fax. Paper fax, not the Internet fax variety and certainly no email attachments.


For the most part (except cost), internet fax is the same as paper fax. However, some [often free] internet fax services only allow you to *receive* faxes (e.g. as PDFs in your mail box) but not send. One generally has to pay money to send a fax using an internet service. Free internet fax services are free because the sender pays extra -- I can imagine that some senders may be unwilling to pay this extra fee, but that is their just reward for using smoke signals instead of e-mail.

One service that I used to use (and still have some credit on left) is PamFax. With it, you create a PDF of the file that you want to fax, then upload it, and it gets faxed using ordinary paper faxing (unless, of course, the recipient's fax number is in fact an internet fax number).

Apart from PamFax for *sending* faxes, I have (or had) free fax numbers in the various countries where I expected to receive faxes. These are fax2mail services, but it should not matter to the sender except that the sender pays a higher fee to send the fax.

Have you ever had the, um, opportunity to work with someone who uses very, very old technologies?


As it happens, a client once contacted me to transfer pencil proofreading into MS Word as tracked changes. Their proofreader took the e-mailed DOC file, printed it out, used a pencil to do the proofreading, and then faxed the document back to the client, later telling them that "this is normal" and "this is how all proofreaders do it".


Your last comment brought back memories of proofreading galleys (uncut printed sheets) at a typesetter's facility where I used to work on occasion 20+ years ago. Yes, galley proofreaders use proofreading marks (some dictionaries and style guides still have a section with standard proof marks). However, translation proofreaders don't use those marks anymore.

icon_smile.gif


 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 03:20
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
No fax Jan 8

I never use fax nor have I ever accepted faxed documents for translation because they are most often not legible enough. These days everyone sends attachments. But in the Netherlands and the UK, where a lot of these documents originate, fax numbers are always included in the letterheads or footers.

 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 12:20
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
In 200x Jan 8

I used to have e-fax and really managed to receive some jobs by it. Odd job assignments came in 2003 when I got one large job on a CD and later another large job as a print-out. A pay-check came once in 2002, and it costed me 37 euro to get the money. At the same time I thought it would be a good idea if I had Visa, so that customers could pay me by credit card. Nobody ever did.
Faxed documents as pdf come still once in a while, but nobody asks ever for my fax number.
I remember I was very proud in 1992 when I got my first AT-compatible computer with 9-needle matrix printer and in-built fax-modem (19800 baud if I remember right). The fax-modem gave out first.


 

Philip Lees  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 12:20
Member (2008)
Greek to English
Proof positive Jan 9

Mario Chavez wrote:

Samuel Murray wrote:
As it happens, a client once contacted me to transfer pencil proofreading into MS Word as tracked changes. Their proofreader took the e-mailed DOC file, printed it out, used a pencil to do the proofreading, and then faxed the document back to the client, later telling them that "this is normal" and "this is how all proofreaders do it".


Your last comment brought back memories of proofreading galleys (uncut printed sheets) at a typesetter's facility where I used to work on occasion 20+ years ago. Yes, galley proofreaders use proofreading marks (some dictionaries and style guides still have a section with standard proof marks). However, translation proofreaders don't use those marks anymore.

icon_smile.gif


Until a couple of years ago, when I was still editing a medical journal, I used to mark up page proofs in the "old-fashioned" way with proofing marks and notes in the margin. Then I'd fax the corrected proofs back to the typesetter. I'd tried marking up the PDF files directly but it took a lot more time and it was harder for the typesetter to deal with.

For the second round of corrections prior to printing, I marked any corrections in red and then we went through them together, with the typesetter sharing her screen with me through skype.


 

Sarah Lewis-Morgan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:20
Member (2014)
German to English
+ ...
Germany is still in the fax ages Jan 9

Thomas T. Frost wrote:

Not in work context, but Germans can be very old-fashioned when it suits them. You still see fax numbers everywhere and often no email addresses. My dermatologist will only answer the phone between 9 and 11 a.m., which does not suit me at all, so the only way to make an appointment is by fax or letter. Ridiculous.


Agreed. I get asked so often to fax documents. I just scan and email, but saying I don't have a fax still raises eyebrows.


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
German faxes Jan 9

Sarah Lewis-Morgan wrote:

Thomas T. Frost wrote:

Not in work context, but Germans can be very old-fashioned when it suits them. You still see fax numbers everywhere and often no email addresses. My dermatologist will only answer the phone between 9 and 11 a.m., which does not suit me at all, so the only way to make an appointment is by fax or letter. Ridiculous.


Agreed. I get asked so often to fax documents. I just scan and email, but saying I don't have a fax still raises eyebrows.


I have an email to/from fax number at Telekom's online system in honour of the few fossils that require it. It is built into the email system. The number is free to obtain, and it is free to receive faxes (well included in the DSL/phone subscription), but it costs about 50 cents per page sent.

But Telekom has not yet figured out how to send me an email if someone leaves a message on my virtual answerphone. They provide an app for that purpose, but it can only handle one phone number, not both numbers included in the package. At least their DSL doesn't crash or disconnect all the time, as it did in France, where it once took an operator one month to reconnect me.

[Edited at 2018-01-09 11:11 GMT]

[Edited at 2018-01-09 11:12 GMT]


 

Joohee Kim  Identity Verified
South Korea
Local time: 18:20
Member (2017)
English to Korean
+ ...
Email Jan 9

Except governmental documents, I never used any kind of fax machines. Well, South Korea is a little bit famous for its internet circumstances...

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
Some older tech is useful Jan 9

Hmm. I just got burgled and the thieves stole 2 of my laptops. The oldest one I used mostly to watch TV, linked up via a hdmi cable, and I was suprised to find that that laptops don't come with an hdmi port anymore... or CD drives either! That old Toshiba worked fine, and at a pinch I could still do translation work with it if need be, although it wasn't as fast as more recent ones...

But faxes, nope. Haven't seen or needed one this century so far...


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Adapter Jan 9

neilmac wrote:

I was suprised to find that that laptops don't come with an hdmi port anymore


You can get an HDMI adapter for the new USB ports.


 

Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
I still do have a fax machine Jan 9

But only because it's part of a 4-in-1 printer which I bought some years ago. I then had an agency who still used to send me PO's by fax, and I sent myself my paper documents to the tax adviser by fax. Nowadays, that agency does send me their PO's by e-mail, nobody else has ever sent me a fax since then and I prefer to send my stuff to the tax adviser by e-mail after having scanned it which is probably faster and more comfortable. So, I don't really need my fax machine any more and surely won't buy another one once my printer will need to be replaced.

I bought my first fax machine in the early 80's and always had fax machines since then - as soon as they were available, integrated in printers. The first one cost me an awful lot of money (which would be approx. 700 Euros today - but then it was probably 4 or 5 times as much or even more, who knows?). I felt very proud of it and quite „professional“, as I suppose not many translators had a fax machine at that time. It would allow me to get instantly urgent texts to be translated and send them back as soon as they were ready which was an appreciable advantage over the snail mail (and more comfortable than short texts dictated by phone).
I also received and sent faxes on behalf of friends then.

Who could imagine many years ago a technology called e-mail which would have revolutionized the communication?

If I am not wrong, people who apply for a gas/electricity connection and so on have still the possibility to send their documents by fax to a public utility company; so there are still fax machines connected and working. But of course this is meant only for those who don‘t have a PC nor other electronic means.


 

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:20
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
How did the burgle your house? Jan 10

neilmac wrote:

Hmm. I just got burgled and the thieves stole 2 of my laptops. The oldest one I used mostly to watch TV, linked up via a hdmi cable, and I was suprised to find that that laptops don't come with an hdmi port anymore... or CD drives either! That old Toshiba worked fine, and at a pinch I could still do translation work with it if need be, although it wasn't as fast as more recent ones...

But faxes, nope. Haven't seen or needed one this century so far...


The first thought in my mind was how painful and uncomfortable it must have been to lose possessions (especially work tools) and the temporal loss of security in your own home.

I hope you recover the lost items and things come back to normal.


 
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