Short for facsimile, a term referring to the transmission of text, illustrations, or other material over telephone lines, either by means of a "fax machine" or a facsimile modem. In its most basic form, the fax machine at the transmission site scans the image to be sent and is transmitted to another fax machine as a series of impulses. The receiving device reads these impulses as a series of dots, and prints the reconstructed image onto either special thermal paper or on plain paper utilizing an ink cartridge. (With a facsimile modem, either the sender or receiver—or both—may be a computer which, with the use of special software and peripheral devices can perform the same functions as a standalone fax machine.)

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