Popular Science – October 1993

Digital Data Meets Plain Paper

A new software program could make sending computer-generated files and faxes much faster than is otherwise possible with a modem or fax machine – and save a lot of money in the process.

The program, called Fax-O-File, from Fontech Ltd. in Israel, converts any computer text or image file into a 300-dot-per-inch, black-and-white grid. That conversion effectively compresses the digital data into a fraction of its original size. It also allows computer data to be faxed, using either a PC-fax modem or a fax machine. Since as much as 100,000 bytes of data, or about 15,000 words (50 typewritten pages), can be stored on a standard page, the time needed to send the information by fax or modem is greatly reduced. That, in turn, saves telephone charges.

At the receiving end, the faxed grid can be read into a PC with a scanner and then converted back to its original form. The grid can also be sent directly to a PC equipped with a fax modem, which eliminates the need for a scanner. A color graphic showing a pie chart, for instance, might be reduced to a black-and-white grid, faxed to another PC, and then reconstituted as a color chart.

In addition to being faster and less expensive than standard fax or modem procedures, the Fax-O-File system offers confidentiality by encoding its transmissions. Fontech says it may license its technology to U.S. companies.

-David Scott

Article from Popular Science - October 1993

Article from Popular Science – October 1993