Re: Mail

robert korfhage (
Mon, 23 Jan 95 15:17:38 EST

Ah, faster mail with typed addresses! I don't really know, but if you
want a laugh, look at the P.O.'s latest suggestions. I don't have them
handy, but as I recall they not only want typed addresses, but
specifically ALL UPPER CASE LETTERS. That says something about the
state of their scanning systems. In theory, the scanning systems are
quite good, and they should speed up the process. However, when I think
of the variety of mail that goes through them -- envelopes of different
sizes and thicknesses, the occasional blip due to staples or paper
clips, etc., and I think back to the card jams that we used to have with
mechanical punched card sorters, I'm a bit surprised that we don't see
more mangled mail out of these machines. (Yes, improvements have been
made, but...) Overall, there are so many other factors in the system --
sorting out the pieces that can't be automatically processed, assuring
that everything is right side up and facing forward, and the old on-foot
delivery, to mention a few, that I'm not sure that any speedup would be

Plus there are still some flies in the ointment. For one thing, whereas very
local mail used to be processed locally, now (at least here) it is collected
along with everything else, sent to the central P.O., processed there, and
then sent back out to our local P.O. Oh, yeh...back to the P.O. suggestions.
They would like one to use the nine-digit ZIP, and bar coding.

As for consistency: Our local P.O. wants us to separate bar coded mail from
the rest, but doesn't care about metered mail vs. stamped. The central P.O.
here wants metered separated from stamped, but doesn't care about bar coded.
And their set-up for mail slots is interesting:

metered letters stamped letters

stamped parcels metered parcels

And these guys want to get into e-mail!

Bob Korfhage