[PLUG] Trouble building Linux answering machine...

Darkhorse plug_0 at robinson-west.com
Sun Sep 12 16:36:01 PDT 2004

On Sun, 2004-09-12 at 15:51, Brent Jones wrote:
> Qwest offers voice-mail for about $3 a month. You can access it from any phone,
> anywhere, any time.
> Youre not going to find what youre looking for, and you dont seem to want to
> create a solution yourself, so might as well look at other solutions, such as
> an answering machine, with a cordless phone, or get voice-mail from your phone
> provider.
> Brent Jones
> brent at servuhome.net

Not a quest customer nor am I going to become one.  CenturyTel screwed
up the bill to the tune of $400 extra in a single month for phone
charges from MCI.  Not being an MCI customer, they said the charges 
would be removed.  The last thing I am interested in is more services
from this phone company beyond the ones I already have.  This isn't a
basic service and I very much doubt that they'd only charge $3/month 
for it.   At a lot of places, you pay $10/month.

I'm not the kind of person who is knowledgable in how to design and
build my own modem.  Maybe my brother who's an EE could do the circuit
design necessary and actually implement one, but I haven't got any
circuits background myself.  If I knew which winmodem to get and paid
around $20 for it,  I'd do better than quest's $3/month in 6 to 8 months
of recording messages on my own machine.  Even if given the right 
winmodem I have to pay Linuxant $15 for a licensed linux driver,
that's still only a year to cover the investment.  I strongly discourage
using your phone company's voicemail feature.  I had a friend with
voicemail in Toledo.  It was awful.  You couldn't hear the messages and
it cost at least $10/month.  It almost cost as much as the line itself.

Bringing messages into your computer offers archival advantages.
You can burn important messages to CD-R when they have long term value.
Doing your own messaging service, you can also have backup copies
in case one gets deleted before it's listened to or in case you want
a record.  With a DTMF tone capable modem, you can support multiple
voice mail boxes.  If it's $3/month for a single voicemail box, that
becomes significant if you want voicemail for enough people.  Pay
for four voice mailboxes and you up to the price of another 
phone line.

One thing I have found googling is that Linux has been embedded in
an answering machine by an Italian telecommunications company.  
It's only in America it seems that you can't find a Linux based
telephone voicemail/fax appliance.

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