Fax machines are useful in certain situations, no doubt, but indiscriminate use of fax machines strikes some as problematic, especially considering that thermal fax paper cannot be recycled. Fax quality is poor in comparison to output from a PostScript laser printer. In addition, it seems to be a waste of machinery to have a scanner, a laser printer, a modem, and a fax modem or machine when the capabilities of all of them can be combined into one unit. Some companies have come close to such combined machines, but not one has come up with one that works well in all modes.
New chips from National Semiconductor might help the process along by combining fax and scanner abilities with PostScript printing. Should the new chips be put on a controller board, the board could then control a scanner and fax modem transparently to the user. Look for announcements of implementations using these chips in the future as companies build hardware around them.
PC WEEK — 14-May-90, Vol. 7 #19, pg. 1
PC WEEK — 02-Jul-90, Vol. 7 #26, pg. 112