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Re: Device That Interfaces Between Phone/CallerID and Serial Port?

Carl Navarro (
Wed, 12 Oct 2005 11:03:21 GMT

On Mon, 10 Oct 2005 12:53:17 -0700, anon1@sci.sci wrote:

>> Assuming you are looking for a device that receives Caller-ID, and the
>> voice menu stuff is done by something else, ..

> That's a very bad assumption. It's the voice-menu touch-tone: press 1
> if you are a personal acquaintance whose first name I would recognize;
> press 2 if you are calling me in regard to an existing business
> relationship such as a credit card or bank account; press 3 if you are
> a stranger trying to call me to advertise a product or service; press
> 4 if you are offering me a job; press 5 if you are a stranger trying
> to call for personal reasons such as you want to discuss something
> interesting I posted in a newsgroup; press 6 if we met in person but I
> don't yet know your name but I'd remember meeting you.) which I don't
> have and am seeking.

> Do you know what such a device would be called and which newsgroup
> would be appropriate for asking about such devices? It would be nice
> if that one device also included decoding of caller-ID, so that I can
> put up different touch-tone monus depending on whether the call
> provides caller-ID or not and if so then whether the call is from
> somebody whose number I already know, and if a number I already know
> then depending on the number: -- You have harassed me and I asked you
> to stop calling. But here you go calling me to harass me again. Your
> call will be reported to the police. -- Hi daddy. Phone is ringing
> now. If I'm here, I'll answer shortly. -- Hi Margaret. Nice to hear
> from you. If I'm here, I'll answer shortly.

Let me start again. You didn't tell me that you couldn't read, so
here's a specific link to products that you can use.

You need an IVR that can process the CID DTMF. Amanda comes to mind,
but I'm sure there are others.

> I don't think a mere "card" would be of any use to me. It doesn't
> sound like anything I can connect up to a phone line and
> program/configure in any simple manner. But just in case I'm mistaken
> in rejecting your suggestion, please tell me how somebody would
> program the "card" to set up the various touch-tone menus? Is there a
> keypad on the "card" for entering configuration commands, and a LED or
> LCD display on the "card" for getting responses to verify what I'm
> doing?

>> Try and check out the Whozz Calling box.

> I looked on that Web site, but didn't see any description of the Whozz
> Calling box nor any link to such information. The only mention was
> "using our Whozz Calling? family of multi-line hardware." with no link
> to info about the device. The text " Features simple viewing, logging,
> and networking of both incoming and outgoing Caller ID . Setup screen,
> search and find hardware routine, help screens, documentation, and
> source code included." appears to refer not to the box but to some
> software that wouldn't run on my Macintosh in any case, and there's no
> mention of either software or hardware providing any touch-tone menu.

Wow. Clicking on the products tab brings up the
entire line of products. In about 30 minutes, you ought to be able to
build a pretty long wish list and download some use(ful/less)

Perhaps your computer is broken?

Now try that again and click on SOFTWARE PARTNERS and you will find
related software that you might find useful.

Click on PRICING within the descriptions above and see if it's a
barrier to entry.

The IVR solution requires some serious hardware. In an Amanda
implementation you need a voice mail card (2 port version about $600
or find one on eBay and get yourself a PC that accepts ISA boards) and
the software. Or try for a Brickmail solution and ask if it can do
mailbox lookups. In Amanda token language programming, it's pretty
elegant when coupled with an easyID box. Amanda allows variable
length digit strings to be sent before the greeting and can route
according to the digits received. If the 10 digit mailbox esists,
play the greeting, if it doesn't, play the greeting you suggested
above. You establsh 3 mailboxes of all 6's 7's and 9's to handle Out
if Area, Private and no CID. If the lookup fails, you end with a
regular auto attendant.

A couple of years ago, I picked up both Amanda hardware and software
for less than $500 on eBay.

To save you time, references for the above:

Now putting it all together:

EasyID2 $300.00
Amanda $500.00 used
PC $150.00 used

Not a lot of change back for $1000.00. Or search for an IVR solution
or use the Whozz Calling 4 port box that allows blocking for $500 and
check out the DOWNLOADS and SOFTWARE PARTNERS tabs on the

Carl Navarro

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