ANSWERING MACHINE RINGS

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On Mon, 21 Dec 2015 09:14:09 -0700

No voice mail here nor on cell phone. Fuck'em leave on answering machine or go away. Answers on third ring so fuck heads have to pay for the call.
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On Monday, December 21, 2015 at 11:23:57 AM UTC-5, burfordTjustice wrote:

my machine will answer on the 4th ring if it is empty and on the first ring if there is 1 or more unread messages on it.
This is so that if you want to retrive your messages when away from home, you can call your own number. If it picks up on the first ring, you know there are messagesto retrieve, so you enter the code and it will play them back
If it waits till four rings, then you know thee are no messages so you can hang up on the third ring before it answers and "save on the toll"
Mark
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On Mon, 21 Dec 2015 10:13:48 -0800 (PST) snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I would never phone home to see if I had messages.
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On Monday, December 21, 2015 at 12:18:41 PM UTC-6, burfordTjustice wrote:

If you had a home business you might!
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On Mon, 21 Dec 2015 10:23:37 -0800 (PST)

Then I would have someone to answer the phone.,
If and butts were candy and nuts every day would be Christmas.
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On Monday, December 21, 2015 at 12:26:39 PM UTC-6, burfordTjustice wrote:

“If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a merry Christmas.” ¯\_(⊙︿⊙)_/¯
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On Mon, 21 Dec 2015 13:26:38 -0500, burfordTjustice

machine back in the late seventies for exactly that reason - and it was not cheap - but cheaper than paying an answering service - and that was before cell phones, when mobile telephone service was also prohibitively expensive!!!.
I'd call in from a customer's phone, or a pay phone, to check messages. The "toll saver" saved a lot of change when using the pay phone (you DO remember those, right??)
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On Mon, 21 Dec 2015 13:18:38 -0500, burfordTjustice

you, you have no other choice - other than going home. Lots of people use a phone and answering system for business purposes and don't give out their cell number to just anyone - they use the landline for business use, and the answereing system as an answering service -and call in from cell or elsewhere to check messages on a regular or semi-regular basis. VERY common - whether YOU would ever find a need to do so or not.
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[snip]

My home phone (cable) now allows forwarding calls to a cell phone. Most of the time, I wouldn't do that (since it would forward all the junk calls). I'll do it if I'm expecting an important call.
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On 12/21/2015 9:05 PM, Mark Lloyd wrote:

Years ago, I had some software to implement an answering machine with a PC (and modem). When a call arrived, it could be configured to email a notification *or* WAV file of the incoming message to an email address. This was handy when I was traveling as I didn't have to tell people I was traveling, where I was, etc. And, didn't have to keep checking the machine to see if anyone had called since the last check!
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On 12/21/2015 10:43 PM, Don Y wrote:

Hopefully ignoring those unknown callers that left a "blank" message (just enough noise to trigger the machine, but no meaningful content).

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On 12/22/2015 12:55 PM, Mark Lloyd wrote:

It's relatively easy to detect "no message" as most folks drop the connection before the OGM has completed.
The problem with this solution was that it was too much of a "toy"; having to set aside an entire PC (tower, keyboard, display) -- big, power hungry, noisey (fan), etc. -- for the functionality of an "answering machine".
An answering machine is "worth" ~20 cubic inches, ~4 oz and ~2 Watts. Anything beyond that is "waste". In the timeframe when I was using this, that was closer to a cubic foot (or two), 10 pounds and 100+ watts.
Today, an answering machine with those capabilities is "worth" considerably less (size/power). But, getting to that point with a flexible solution is tricky...

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[snip]

Most drop the connection. That's been true until recently. I've been getting a lot (I think those CID shows as "TOLL FREE CALL") where there's just a grunt or vague mumble.

It doesn't take an "entire PC" if the software runs in the background, or in a virtual machine. It could be the same PC you're using anyway.
[snip]
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On 12/23/2015 1:32 PM, Mark Lloyd wrote:

When we sort through our messages, we sometimes encounter "dumb" robodialers that just recite their "payload" without regard to whether or not there is anything listening. The local public library is like this. And, must know how stupid their approach is as the repeat the message several times -- in English and Spanish -- in the hope that ONE of them is caught by <whatever> is "listening"

It means a PC needs to be on 24/7. And, to not be a "superfluous PC", needs to be the one you *want* to use for <whatever else>.
Nowadays, you can find small, low power machines (I have some that run on less than 10W that I have "up" 24/7/365). That wasn't the case decades ago.
I just rescued a pair of SFF PC's (Optiplex 745's) one of which will replace the tower that's been our HTPC/DVD player. They were chosen for their small size and (relatively) low power consumption. Plus the fact that I can swap out the DVD player easily if it fails, over time (this was a concern with the original tower -- I could replace the half-height optical drive with another far easier than buying a new "DVD player").
But, any PC based solution ties my hands with the approach I can take to the problem. What happens when that PC dies? Will the PC available 5 years hence support the same peripherals that I'm using for that feature? The same physical busses, etc.? And, what about the OS? If I have to code on bare iron, then the PC is the LEAST desirable hardware platform!
So, instead, I'm pursuing a VoIP gateway sort of approach: an appliance that has an FXO port on one side and an RJ45 on the other. Bury all the telco interface (hardware) in the device and just deliver network packets to my software.
This allows my software to run on anything that I choose -- as long as there is a way to "get to a network connection".
But, it adds other complexities that a PC-as-answering_machine doesn't have to address -- mainly latency. The gateway has to buffer audio content before delivering it to the network. It has to then compete with other network traffic and travel to my "machine" (whatever it may be), percolating up through the network stack before my software can "see" it. This all takes time. And, can vary from one instant to the next!
In an exaggerated example, imagine your phone buffered up entire sentences from the calling party before delivering them to your ear. You'd *hear* everything the caller said. But, while you are hearing them, the caller is wondering why you're not SAYING anything -- he/she stopped speaking moments ago and you've not yet replied (because you are only, just now!, hearing those statements).
"No free lunch." To gain some measure of independence/isolation, I have to assume some additional design complexities.
*UNLESS* I can get my code to run *in* the VoIP gateway! There, it could access the incoming analog audio as it arrives -- without having to buffer it and transfer it over the network...
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On 12/23/2015 03:03 PM, Don Y wrote:
[snip]

And, when you use an answering machine, they're too stupid to WAIT FOR THE BEEP. Some or all (depending on length) of the message isn't recorded.
BTW, I once tried one of those "challenge / response" systems, where the caller gets a "please press 1" message. Using it made the "dumb robodialer" problem worse (considering that the ring-ring-message-beep sequence becomes ring-ring-messsage-ring-ring-message-beep).
[snip]
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On 12/24/2015 1:16 PM, Mark Lloyd wrote:

The more amusing cases are the (real) folks who ramble on and on -- until the machine hangs up on them!
We had a friend who would call after having a few drinks. One time, she talked to the machine for so long that the *tape* (back when you had dual cassettes in the machine) ran out! (half an hour or more!)

Handling incoming calls -- wanted and unwanted -- is an amusingly difficult problem!
Historically, it's been such a ubiquitous medium that it was hard to impose any rules/constraints on callers; someone legitimate might call and be incapable of complying with whatever "system" you'd imposed!
[I had a scheme35 years ago where you had to key in a number. Worked great -- except for my folks (who had a dial-pulse telephone!]
As a result, I've decided that *you* have to bear the responsibility for making it work; you can't just "impose" something on your callers because they're not accustomed to "having to comply" with a dictatorial phone system!
[How many folks lean on '0' when faced with endless voice menus?]
OTOH, with email, I can "force" certain contacts to use PEM if they want to correspond with me -- without imposing that on other contacts!
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On 12/24/2015 02:50 PM, Don Y wrote:
[snip]

When I was home, I could usually tell (from the caller ID) when a legitimate call came in. With that "press 1", system most of the time it would be me that pressed 1. If I was not home, the message was often missed (or half-missed when the caller wouldn't wait for the beep).

A lot of the times I have to deal with such a system, there'll be multiple menu items, given unpleasantly slowly, none of which are what I called about.
[snip]
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On 12/25/2015 10:55 AM, Mark Lloyd wrote:

I find it more distressing that the choices don't always line up with what *I* would like them to be. So, I've developed a habit when dealing with these things: as soon as I hear an option that is better than the best option I've heard so far (which may have been "none"), I throw out that many fingers to "remember" the option number. When I've heard the entire menu, then I press the button indicated by my current "finger display".
Too often, I've taken an early choice only to discover that waiting would have exposed a *better* choice!
(sigh) Yet another example of how businesses have so much contempt for their customers -- pushing off THEIR costs onto the customer.
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Don Y posted for all of us...

You are a business, you should know that ALL costs are paid by the customer.
--
Tekkie

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On Friday, December 25, 2015 at 1:58:08 PM UTC-5, Don Y wrote:

verizon is the absolute worst! their goal is to discorage the customer calling so they just go away.
they have endless menus, with multiple choices, then when you finally get to the one you want, it says all techs are busy please try again later and hangs up on you.
fios wwas a absolute nightmare.
which is why i got ri of it..........
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