The Diskfax is a desktop unit from Alfa Systems which sends and receives computer data at high speed through an ordinary telephone line. It does this by analysing any disk which is inserted in the sending machine and making an exact copy on the receiving machine. This applies whether the disk contains only one short file or dozens of long ones.
Unlike other forms of data transmission, such as a modem, the Diskfax is as easy to use as a fax. But unlike a paper fax, the information arrives in a form which is instantly machine-readable - and transmission is a lot faster. Typically, the Diskfax will transmit a document containing the equivalent of thirty A4 typed pages in less than a minute, while the contents of the page you are now reading would take under 2 seconds.
There are two models of Diskfax. Both work in much the same way; the main difference is in what disk drives are fitted and how they store incoming transmissions.
a The Floppy Diskfax has one 5l/4" floppy drive and one 3'/2" floppy drive. It can be set to receive data whenever a floppy disk has been inserted in one of the drives.
b The Hard Diskfax has one 5'/4" floppy drive and one 3'/2" floppy drive plus an internal hard disk. The hard disk is programmed to receive incoming data and store it automatically.
Both models can be used to transmit all types of IBM PC-compatible floppy disks, as well as high-density disks for the Apple Macintosh. There is also a special option to allow the transmission and reception of disks formatted for many other popular computers, including Amiga and Atari machines.
Both models are also fitted with a serial interface which allows the Diskfax to be connected directly to a PC so that you don't need to copy files onto a floppy disk before transfer.
Our model is the DF2000/1 with a serial number of 00170 and was kindly donated by Edward Gladstone
This exhibit has a reference ID of CH15814. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.