Bits & Bytes
FINALLY, A PRINTER JUST FOR ENVELOPES
A computer with word processing software makes drafting letters a breeze. Addressing the envelope, however, can take more time than writing. Most printers don't have a special mechanism for envelopes, and that often means feeding them through manually or reverting to a typewriter--if you can still find one. "It can be a pain if you have a lot of letters to mail," says Charles LeCompte, an analyst at BIS CAP International, a market researcher in Waltham, Mass.
CoStar Corp., a startup in Greenwich, Conn., hopes to save users from mass-mailing nightmares with an envelope-only printer that's compatible with most of the popular word processing programs. The sleekly designed device, called AddressWriter, can print an average of five letter-quality addresses a minute--including bar codes to qualify for a presorting discount at the post office. CoStar believes people will want the $595 product because printed envelopes look more personalized than stick-on address labels.EDITED BY PAUL M. ENG