Comments on Dead Media Working Note 49.3
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From: MCLELLAN Alexander
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2001 09:22:07 +0100

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In his note on the telex, Mark Griffiths puts the words:

But perhaps the real explanation for telex's tenacity is a dusty old protocol in the rulebooks of the International Telecommunication Union.

According to Telexnet, a supplier of e-mail-to-telex software, "Telex still remains the only legally recognised form of data transmission."

This is true, but misses what I feel is the most important part of this advantage of the telex.

In English law a telex is legally binding. And, as the receiver, you know which telex machine sent the fax, and as the sender, you know which machine received it.


Alex. McLellan

From: "Paul (Jimbo) Duncan GW7KES"
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2001 08:01:19 GMT


That was quite interesting about Telex. Its still a major form of communication where I work. We run two research ships, and telex is one of the main means of contacting ships across the Inmarsat satellite. Coastguards and Rescue co-ordinations centres use it to keep ships informed of the status of search and rescue operations, so it will be in use on the high seas for a long time to come. Oh just remembered another thing, its used for sending Met reports to Bracknell weather centre as well :-)

Paul ~~~~

From: Andrew Ayers
Date: Fri, 05 Jan 2001 11:02:56 -0700

Tom Jennings wrote:

> Dead medium: Telex
> Source: Salon magazine,

I loved it!

I am fairly young (27), but I know what a Telex machine is. Not too long ago I managed to see one "up close and personal", being sold at a used computer parts store here in Phoenix, Arizona. It was big. It was heavy. It was neat...

The thing that impressed me most at the time was how "new" it was. I could see it was old (ie, it had that 70's look), but the plastic wasn't faded, tarnished, or discolored - in fact, had I not known better, I would have sworn it wasn't more than a couple years old, if that!

It had a full roll of paper in it, and some punched tape.

To this day I kick myself that I didn't buy it - I probably could've gotten it for a song. At the time my reasoning was "I can't lift it in/out of my truck" and "It won't fit in my apartment" and, of course, "The missus wouldn't like it".

I only hope it went to a good home - it deserved it.