Dan Naden

I had a tense time yesterday with the fax machine

I don’t like fax machines

In fact, I feel awkward interacting with these sometimes bulky behemoths; the fax machine at our office takes up what seems to be half the room.

Maybe my consternation stems from the fact that I spend so many productive hours at the computer and then I have to drift over into the foreign land of the fax. I’ve gone from the fast lane to horse and buggy.

Our office’s ‘All in One’ (fax/copier/scanner) claims to do it all. The problem is that it does none of ‘the all’ very well. The on-screen instructions are vague; the machine’s ‘warm up’ time leaves me enough time to drink a full pot of coffee. The list of shortcomings could go from here to Scranton, PA.

The other day I experienced another moment that solidified my frustration with this technology.

I wanted to make a copy of a document. I walked the document into the cramped room and placed it face down on the copier. I made sure the copier was selected and ‘online’ and pressed the start button. The seconds passed. The day grew longer. Nothing.

After contemplating taking the machine out of its misery with a sledgehammer (wouldn’t that be fun?), I asked a colleague who told me that the ‘scanner’ must be offline before the copier will work.

Huh? Did I miss something?

This probably makes perfect sense to the engineer who designed this ‘all-in-one’ monster, but I would have thought that selecting ‘copier’ mode would take all other functions off-line. If I am in copier mode, please put the copier ‘online’. If I am in scanner mode, please put the scanner ‘online’. This makes sense to me.

I think I’ll stick with my PC. And do some ‘deep breathing exercises’ before interacting with the ‘all in one’ machine.

Until next time,


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