[LINK] Environment department used 30 sheets of paper per person per day

Rick Welykochy rick at praxis.com.au
Wed Jan 28 14:48:26 AEDT 2009

Marghanita da Cruz wrote:

> Ahh...the paperless office!
>> The paperless office was a publicist's slogan, meant to describe the office of the future. The basic idea was that office automation would make paper redundant for routine tasks such as record-keeping and bookkeeping. The idea came to prominence with the introduction of the personal computer. While the prediction of a PC on every desk was remarkably prescient, the 'paperless office' was less prophetic. Improvements in printers and photocopiers have made it much easier to produce documents in bulk, word-processing has deskilled secretarial work involved in writing those documents, and paper proliferates.
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paperless_office>

I ditched my printer in, oh, 1996 from the home office. Admittedly
there are I times I need to print and I can dig up a willing donor
for that.

As a consequence of not having a printer and not having a fax I
often have conversations like this on the phone:

They, "You will have to print out the form from the web site
and then fax it to us."

Me, "Can I just send you a digital version of the form, already
filled in? Saves printing ink, paper, fax paper and the needless
conversion from digital to analogue and back again digital."

They, "No, sorry, the only way we can accept the form is via

Add in one case with Tel$tra: Me, "Well, can I snail mail or email
the form to you? The reply, "No, sorry. We only accept faxes."
Me, "But you are the biggest communications co. in the country!
Can I speak to a supervisor please?" Me waits five minutes, then
they say, "No supervisor is available." Hang up.

I usually try to explain how wasteful and error prone it is to go
through the extra needless steps of download, print, fax, and re-key
the contents of fax. All futile.

One thing that obviates the need to print reams and reams of paper
in this century is the emergence of high res screens on laptops.
Works for me, although I wouldn't want to read an entire book that way.
But, for technical stuff it suffices. I am diving into some heavy
Java programming without a Java manual or users guide. No matter.
Everything I need to know about Sun's 1000's of classes in the JDK
is accessible online from a single well designed three-frame web

Someone who has got it right: the Department of Foreign Affairs and
Trade offers an online passport renewal service. Works a treat.
Identify yourself and submit renewal application. They will then
snail mail a completed form. All you do is sign it and take it to
the post office. New passport arrives at your doorstep within weeks.
One little piece of paper, no printer, no faxing, no fuss at my end.


Rick Welykochy || Praxis Services

"There are no significant bugs in our released software that any
  significant number of users want fixed. "
      -- Bill Gates  (1995)

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