Category: Uncategorized

Are Fax numbers still relevant in 2023?

In a previous article, we talked about the various default input fields included in MIDAS as standard. One of the standard client input fields is for their “Facsimile” number (more commonly know as their Fax number).

We’ve included Fax as a “standard” client field since we first started MIDAS over 17 years ago. But our previous article got us thinking…. are fax machines still a thing in 2023?

We’ll admit, here at MIDAS HQ, we can’t remember the last time we received a fax. In fact, we can’t recall ever having sent one either!

What is a Fax Machine?

Now, it occurs to us that some reading this article may never have come across a fax machine! (Yes, we’re showing our age!)

So, if you’re not familiar, a fax machine – short for “facsimile machine” – is a technology used for transmitting documents over a traditional telecommunication (phone) network. It allows the near-instantaneous reproduction of text and images (all be it at low resolution) at a distant location.

A Fax Machine
A Fax Machine

The History Of The Fax Machine

Early Conceptualization (19th Century):
The concept of transmitting images over long distances actually dates back to the 19th century. In 1843, Scottish inventor Alexander Bain received a patent for his idea of a “Copying Telegraph” that could transmit images using a series of synchronized pendulums.

Pantelegraph (1865):
In 1865, Italian inventor Giovanni Caselli developed the “Pantelegraph,” which was the first practical fax machine. It used a rotating stylus to scan and transmit handwritten messages and images over telegraph lines.

Facsimile Transmission (1920s):
During the 1920s, advancements in radio technology led to the development of early versions of fax machines that utilized radio waves for transmission. These machines were primarily used for newspaper photo transmission.

Telephotography (1930s):
In the 1930s, “telephotography” systems emerged, allowing photographs to be sent over telephone networks. However, these systems were expensive and not widely adopted.

Xerox LDX (1964):
The first commercialized fax machine was the Xerox LDX (Long Distance Xerography), introduced in 1964. It used the then-common electrostatic printing technology to transmit documents over long distances.

ITU Standardization (1980s):
In the 1980s, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) developed standardized protocols for fax transmission, which facilitated interoperability between different fax machines and networks.

Thermal Transfer Fax Machines (1980s-1990s):
In the 1980s and 1990s, thermal transfer fax machines gained popularity due to their lower cost and improved printing quality.

Internet Faxing (1990s):
With the rise of the internet, fax technology evolved to include internet faxing or “fax over IP,” which enabled faxes to be sent and received through email and online fax services.

Decline and Legacy (2000s-2010s):
As digital technologies like email and document scanning became more prevalent, the use of traditional fax machines declined. However, fax technology continues to be used in some industries, especially in areas where secure document transmission is essential.

Modern Fax Services (Present Day):
Today, faxing has largely transitioned to digital platforms and online fax services. These services use internet protocols to send and receive faxes electronically, eliminating the need for physical fax machines and allowing for more efficient and secure document transmission.

Though the traditional standalone fax machine’s popularity has waned, the concept of faxing lives on in digital form, offering a reliable means of transmitting documents in various professional settings.

How popular are fax machines today?

The number of people using fax machines has declined due to the increasing adoption of digital communication methods like email, cloud-based document sharing, and secure messaging platforms. As a result, faxing has become less common in many regions, especially in developed countries.

While some specific industries and regions might still rely on fax machines for certain purposes, it’s safe to say that the number of people using traditional fax machines globally has significantly decreased. Online fax services and digital communication in general provides a more efficient and convenient way to send and receive documents these days.

You Got A Fax

Getting The Facts on Fax!

As MIDAS includes a field to enter a Fax number for each client record, we were keen to understand how – and indeed if – our customers use this field.

We took an anonymized random sample of 190 of our cloud hosted customer’s MIDAS systems. Between them, this sample of MIDAS systems contains a total of 213,887 individual client records. Here’s what we found…

90% of MIDAS systems have the “Fax” field enabled

We were quite surprised that this was figure so high! However, it should be noted that the Fax field is actually enabled by default in all fresh installations of MIDAS. Therefore, only 10% of customers have taken action and disabled this field.

Of the 90% of MIDAS systems where the “Fax” field is enabled, not a single system has been configured to mark this as a “Required” field.

Only 0.44% of clients have a fax number

We found that only 0.44% of client records within our anonymized sample of cloud-hosted MIDAS systems we host, contained an entry in the “fax” field. It’s also possible that some customers actually use the “Fax” field to record other client data – like an additional cell/mobile number. Therefore, it’s reasonable to assume that less than 0.44% of clients have an actual fax number.

Facing The Facts on Fax!

So what are our key takeaways from these facts? How can we use this information moving forward?

Despite 90% of MIDAS systems having the Fax field enabled, this field is utilized by less than half a percent of clients.

It’s fair to say that the “Fax” client field isn’t really used!

Our first takeaway from this is that the “Fax” field probably shouldn’t be enabled by default. By initially “hiding” this field, it will simplify the editing of client records. It’s therefore likely that we’ll make this change for fresh installations of MIDAS in the near future.

In the future, we may also consider removing “Fax” as a standard MIDAS client field all together. Instead, if customers do wish to capture client fax numbers, they could easily create a custom client field for this purpose instead.

If we do take the decision to drop the standard “Fax” client field in a future update, existing customers still using it need not worry! We’ll ensure that our update process automatically migrates your client fax data over to a custom client field.

No, we’re not based in American Samoa!

Occasionally, folks reach out to us and ask us if we’re based in American Samoa, as our domain name ends in “.as”.

“.as” is the domain extension for the country American Samoa – knows as a Country Code Top-Level domain (or ccTLD). Every country in the world has been assigned a ccTLD. For example, “.fr” is the ccTLD belonging to France, “.au” is the ccTLD assigned to Australia, and so forth.

Typically, ccTLDs are used for individuals, organizations, and businesses based in that country. For instance, a UK-based business may choose to have a “.uk” domain name.

If MIDAS isn’t based in American Samoa, why use an “.as” domain?

This is what’s known as a “domain hack“. A “domain hack” is a domain name that suggests a word, phrase or brand by combining two or more adjacent parts of the domain, which usually ends by incorporating the letters from a ccTLD to complete the word.

Here’s some common Domain Hack examples:

  • (using the .gl ccTLD of Greenland)
  • (using the .am ccTLD of Armenia)
  • (using the .be ccTLD of Belgium)

Because our room booking software is called “MIDAS”, we chose the domain name “MID.AS”.

So where is MIDAS based?

We’re actually based here in the UK

So whenever you see a domain name ending with a ccTLD, don’t assume that the website or business is specific to the country indicated by the ccTLD. It may well be that the business is global or located elsewhere in the world and is just using a ccTLD as a “domain hack” to form part of a word.

Often viewed as the envy of the rest of the world, the UK’s National Health Service celebrates its 70th birthday today!

The NHS (National Health Service) is the publicly funded healthcare system in the United Kingdom.

It was founded in 1948 and provides a wide range of medical services, including general practitioner (GP) services, hospital care, dental care, mental health services, and more.

The NHS is funded through general taxation and provides free healthcare at the point of use to all UK residents, regardless of their ability to pay.

The system is based on the principle of comprehensive, universal coverage, and is widely regarded as a model for publicly funded healthcare systems around the world.

To celebrate this 70 year milestone, throughout July we’re offering NHS staff £70 OFF our MIDAS Room Booking & Resource Scheduling Software!

..and best of all, this discount can be used to purchase MIDAS on behalf of ANY business or community organization!

NHS staff can claim this special discount right now at [THIS DISCOUNT HAS NOW ENDED]

So if you know someone who works within the NHS, please feel free share this very special limited time offer with them.

But what if you don’t work (or know anyone who works) for the NHS?

Well, make sure you follow us on Social Media as we run special offers and discounts through our social media channels from time to time (in fact, we ran an offer just last month!)

NHS Discount

Mozilla Corporation

You’ve probably heard of Mozilla – they’re the folks behind the well known and popular Firefox web browser, and as you may know, we develop a powerful browser-based Room and Resource Scheduling System, MIDAS, which we support in all major browsers, including Firefox.

In fact, ever since we first began development of MIDAS back in 2005, the primary browser we continue to do the bulk of our development and debugging in has been Firefox! It’s been our browser of choice, and we’ve long since been admirers of Mozilla’s open and inclusive approach to the development of Firefox and the web, and their company ethos, that:

“Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality”

However, today Mozilla have demonstrated that this ethos is in fact untrue, and that they no longer believe in equality and freedom of speech for ALL.

Here’s a brief outline of what’s happened:

Mozilla Firefox Last month, Mozilla appointed a new CEO, Brendan Eich. Eich was the inventor of Javascript (one of the programming languages that our software utilizes!) and co-founder of

Six years earlier, in 2008, long before he became CEO, Eich made a personal donation to a campaign for “California Proposition 8“, a bill which, rightly or wrongly depending upon your view, opposed same-sex marriage taking place in the state of California.

Following his appointment to CEO of Mozilla last month, a number of Mozilla employees, board members, and members of the global L.G.B.T community expressed their unhappiness with his appointment to the role of CEO, as they felt that because he’d previously supported a campaign opposing same-sex marriage this made him unsuitable to be CEO of a company that had equality and freedom of speech at the very heart of its core values.

For the past several weeks, since Eich’s appointment, there has been a sustained and vicious campaign targeted against Mozilla, Firefox, and Eich himself, with pressure from all sides for Eich to stand down/be removed from his role as CEO.

Today, following this sustained pressure, Eich has stepped down as CEO.

Many are celebrating this, however, regardless of your view of Brendan Eich or your position on same-sex marriage, Mozilla as a company promoted “equality and freedom of speech” for ALL. By this token, Eich (along with every other Mozilla employee, regardless of position, gender, religion, or sexual orientation) has the same right to express his views without fear of censorship or persecution – whether you agree with his views or not.

No one should be denied the right to express their PERSONAL opinion or view on any subject, and remember, this was only a personal view of Eich, not an official Mozilla/Firefox view/policy/position.

In pressuring and forcing their CEO to step down because of his *personal* view on a subject, Mozilla have denied Eich his right to equality and demonstrated that they no longer stand for true equality and freedom of speech for everyone.

We used to believe that Mozilla were promoting an “open web for all” – we are now struggling to reconcile this ethos with Mozilla’s actions and stance today.

Many Firefox users have since taken to Twitter to vent their anger & disappointment at @Mozilla and @Firefox‘s stance on this matter, with many previously loyal users uninstalling and boycotting their products in protest.

Our web based Room and Resource Scheduling Software MIDAS is supported in Firefox, but also supported in Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Opera browsers as well – as we believe in giving you the choice over which browser (and company) you choose.

UPDATE 6th April:
Two days later, and Mozilla’s own customer feedback site ( clearly shows the amount of negative feeling towards the company as a result:

Mozilla Customer's Feelings and sentiment
Mozilla Customer’s Feelings