pc phone answering machine
November 20, 2006 11:36 AM   Subscribe

How do I use my PC as a land line answering machine?

Would like to archive messages and call records in and out. Bonus points for any contact management tools, or the abilty to interface with and sync phone numbers and messages on a cell phone
posted by StickyCarpet to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you're willing to forgo Windows and reformat the machine with Linux, I know you can do this using Asterisk, assuming the modem you have in the PC is one of the few supported models. (A few Intel-chipset based 'winmodem' types are used by Asterisk.)

Here is an article that gives you an idea what's involved "A $10 Linux Answering Machine." You may have a hard time finding an appropriate modem now -- it may require some eBaying. But Asterisk has all the message-archiving features you could want, and probably more (it will do things like email you the recorded messages if you like).

There might be some other ways to do this that I'm not thinking of, that use VoIP systems, but that's beyond me.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:04 PM on November 20, 2006

Thanks, Kadin2048. Really hoping for a windows solution, and not VoIP.
posted by StickyCarpet at 12:19 PM on November 20, 2006

As long as you have a modem, just hook the computer up to the modem and use something like Super Voice.
posted by JJ86 at 12:25 PM on November 20, 2006

....just hook the phone up to the modem is what I meant....
posted by JJ86 at 12:26 PM on November 20, 2006

Or Active Phone Server...

Actually there is a lot of different software that serves this purpose, all it takes is a search for 'Windows "answering machine software"' in Google...
posted by tuxster at 12:47 PM on November 20, 2006

there is a lot of different software that serves this purpose, all it takes is a search for 'Windows "answering machine software"' in Google...

There are lots of results, but last year when I tried to find something I liked, there didn't seem to be a definitive "just works" choice, for windows. I was looking for NT compatibility initially, but even when I dropped that requirement, I still couldn't find anything really good.

That said, Active Phone Server looks very interesting.

Here are a couple of previous questions:
Telephone message software
April 9, 2005 9:15 PM

Recording a phone conversation
June 23, 2005 2:39 PM

Answering machines that call or email me.
August 22, 2006 5:42 PM
posted by Chuckles at 2:03 PM on November 20, 2006

Chuckles, Super Voice Pro has NT compatibility and handles all the tasks queried in those threads. I've used it about 10 years ago and was very satisfied with it at the time. I'd definitely recommend it.
posted by JJ86 at 2:32 PM on November 20, 2006

Thanks y'all. Yeah I guess I could have weeded through google myself some more, but I do appreciate the time you've saved me.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:49 AM on November 21, 2006

IVM Answering Attendant. Call display, multiple mailboxes, different outgoing messages for different times of day or incoming numbers. It can also call your cell phone when you have new messages.
posted by Hanover Phist at 12:25 PM on November 21, 2006

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