Over ten years ago now my father and I and a small group of programmers developed a software suite called SciFAX which did fax automation using stand-alone Canon fax machines. While it was very cool and revolutionary software, it was almost immediately made obsolete by the rapid and unexpected proliferation of fax-capable modem cards.

The thing that creates the entry title of “odd” is that if I enter it into a search engine, I find tons and tons of current applications which are designed to interface with it. I wonder… do they also read ENIAC punchcards?

I mean, it's cool, and maybe flattering that the product hasn't left the computer world's strange pseudoconsciousness, but it's really rather strange as well. I wonder how much obsolete code is still being kept alive? When it comes to applications that handle multiple formats, I'm sure that the developers have no idea — they just buy a conversion library from someone in order to be backwards compatible (ever notice most graphics tools can still read a PCX?)… The question is, will SciFAX still be supported in three hundred years?

Part of me thinks “yes”.

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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