Transmitting Speeds

Okay all you kids out there – don’t ever complain about how slow your internet connection is. Ever.

When I began my Associated Press days, in 1993, the first transmitter I worked off of was a Leafax I, one of the earliest portable film scanners. It was wonderful … compared to the option of having to process film, dry it, edit it, then make a print of it, dry it, caption it and then transmit that.

The Leafax I would scan and transmit simultaneously. (The second generation had an added compander that would store images, the third iteration had that built in and was way faster.) In addition to taking about 21 minutes to send a color photo (while you prayed you had a clean transmission line as noise would kill the photo), you also had to tone it using a four inch black and white monitor.

Eventually I was able to use a Leafax II, then a Leafax III and I thought I’d hit heaven … I could send one photo in seven minutes, while scanning a second one. Talk about multitasking, heaven came in a big black case.

So, your gigabit on campus download speed is too slow? Get off my lawn …

Mark E. Johnson

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