Fax Madness

As part of the start up of Stormgate Software, I’m migrating from a “personal” iOS developer account with Apple to a corporate one. This process has been pretty smooth so far, with Apple’s developer support team being both responsive and knowledgable.

To confirm that Stormgate Software actually exists, they of course want to see some paperwork. In this case, my Certificate of Organization from the state. And how do they want this paperwork submitted? Why FAX of course.

When you fax something, what actually happens is the piece of paper is scanned, turned into bits, and sent to a fax machine on the other end which prints it.

When sending to a company like Apple, it’s a really good bet that what’s on the other end of the phone isn’t a “fax machine”, but rather a computer. And that computer almost certainly just creates a PDF file of the “paperwork”.

Not only is this process (the scan-the-paper part) sort of primitive, but in this case it’s pretty crazy. Why? Because the document I’m sending is a PDF! That’s what the state sent me!

So here’s the process:

  1. State government’s computer generates a PDF (bits)
  2. PDF is sent to me via the internet
  3. I print the PDF onto dead trees
  4. I drive to the local U-Fax-It store (now we add dead dinosaurs into the process)
  5. The paper is scanned and sent via phone line to Apple
  6. Apple’s computer system turns it into a PDF (bits)

Sigh. If only I’d had some 8-Track tapes to listen to during step #4…

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