Internet and Fax Interoperabilty: Big Picture -Reply

Internet and Fax Interoperabilty: Big Picture -Reply

Internet and Fax Interoperabilty: Big Picture -Reply

Scott A. Isaacson Scott_Isaacson at
Thu Sep 5 01:03:50 EDT 1996

>>> Don Wright <don at> 09/04/96 07:44pm >>>
Thomas P. Koltai wrote:
> I wonder if you could share the methodology of this with the group.

The development of this technology was the subject of Internet Printing
at the last PWG Meeting.  While making this work is not rocket science, 
it does need some real work and it needs to be standardized.

>And in respect of the dedicated facsimile machines; I think the problem
>1. The machines already exist. Interfacing the existing machines to IP is 
>2. Many non-IT folk like to hold bits of paper in their hands and feed it 
through themselves.
>Allowing a computer to achieve the same result will only appeal to a
portion of the 

Please don't take this personally if you are a very fax-centric person, but

I see no reason to perpetuate 200 DPI printing, scanning etc.  It is time to
move remote printing (read faxing) to the modern era.  2400 DPI 24-bit
color scanning and contone, high resolution printers are going to be 
needed to fill the long term needs.  Let's pitch the horse buggy whips
and provide the solution that's going to be needed in the not too distant

If some other group wants to bolt fax machines to the internet -- fine but
I have no interest in it.

>>> Don Wright <don at> 09/04/96 07:44pm >>>


I agree with your comments.

For existing fax infrastructure, it is great to make sure that it gets
connected to the internet via whatever mechanisms possible.  As Ray
Lutz, getting fax images between fax machines in various other ways
(internet protocols rather than telephone transmissions) is very
desireable.  Would this be a simple firmware update to existing
machines?  New interface cards?  New machines?  In the multi-function
devices this is probably the simplest since they already have network
cards as compared to fax machines with modems only.  This will also
solve the issues brought up by Thomas P. Koltai about starting with a
piece of paper rather than an electronic document. 

However, think of how many times you find yourself "printing a
document on a high quality, high resolution laser printer only to walk over
to the faxmachine and fax it!!!!"   Internet printing to a printer won't solve
all issues for the people that are holding bits of paper, but it will solve
them for people that are holding documents of bits (electronic that is)! 

In the discussion at the PWG last week, we talked about how important it
will be in the very near future to be able to print to a URL.  We explored
the issues that Babak Jahromi brings up about lower cost and higher
resolution (on paper quality) of printing on the internet vs. faxing.  This
should save time and money and move us into even yet again a new age
of information sharing (color, high quality, easier store and forward,
global document management, etc.)

Currently the WEB is a great place to post data and have it browsed and
picked up locally and printed locally.  We need to make sure that the
Internet becomes more than that - it needs to become a true global
distributed computing environment.  In that environment there will be
shared resources (printers) that need to be accessible and managable. 
This will be very useful for allowing printers to be the way incoming,
unsolicited information can get into a certain organization (just as
incoming fax is used), but more importantly, internet printing can be a
way that I publish information (print from an application to a printer
locally, to a web page, to an internet printer).

Don writes:
"Let's pitch the horse buggy whips and provide the solution that's going
to be needed in the not too distant future."

This is a very important statement.  As I look at some of the other remote
printing solutions that have been talked about:

- Use faxing for remote printing
- Use e-mail for remote printing with the printer name encoded as a fake
DNS name such as "printer at 1.(.8.0.0.)."
- Using telnet to a print server and coping a file to a special device name
- ....

These work around solutions are in place becuase there are no standard
methods for internet printing.  These work arounds are NOT the way we
do local printing today.  The notion of Internet Printing must NOT be a
work around kind of solution.  Just because I can do something some
odd, hard to use way does not mean that it is the best way to do it.  We
need to make Internet Printing like local printing or other common
distributed computing environment printing -  you print to a printer!  In the
internet, this becomes printing to a printer (a URL? that represents the
printer) !!

Scott Isaacson

Scott Isaacson
Print Services Consulting Engineer
Novell Services Division

Novell, Inc.
122 E 1700 S
Provo, UT  84606
e-mail: Scott_Isaacson at
Voice: (801) 861-7366
Fax: (801) 861-4201

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