Author Topic: Dead Out Of The Gate  (Read 4006 times)

Cube

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Dead Out Of The Gate
« on: June 30, 2016, 02:49:26 AM »
Caller ID. I remember when it first came out, and what a revolutionary idea it was at the time. My friend Phil was the first person I knew to get the feature, and the novelty of seeing who was calling before you answered the phone never seemed to wear off when I was at his house. The little box on his coffee table had two buttons and an LCD screen, and the brand name (or model) was written below: Maestro.

Modems have long had the ability to do more than just modulate and demodulate computer data over voice telephone lines. First came the addition of fax capabilities, and shortly thereafter on some of the more expensive models came the ability to intercept and interpret the CallerID data. At one time I had an XT computer (Yes, that was not a typo. I neither meant to say AT nor XP but XT) whose sole purpose was to monitor a modem and display the caller ID information on a phosphorous CRT monitor from it while Procomm logged the session to a text file.

Fast forward to Venturii and a similar need arose. I came across a US Robotics Sportster V.92 external modem, and discovered that it, too, supported the CallerID standard. I created a Venturii module to capture and interact with the modem, intercepting the RING messages and the Caller ID data it displayed. This allowed me to invoke different actions within Venturii when certain people called, and even when the phone was ringing. For example I did not have a phone out in the garage at the time, but set up a beeper to beep in cadence with the ringing of the telephone in the house.

Since that time however, I've switched from a traditional telephone service costing over $35 / month to a VOIP service and my own Asterisk VM costing less than $1 / month. Not only that but it also gives me much more flexibility over who calls, when the phones ring, and I've even installed a number of IP phones including in the garage, all but negating the need for this Venturii module. My USR modem is still mounted to the wall with a Lantronix MSS-100 plugged into the back of it, iconifying the changing technology over time, however neither have been powered up in years.

If there is any interest in the Maestro module, I would be happy to support it and still have the tools and equipment to test/develop for it, however for my purposes there has really been no need and so it has fallen by the wayside.
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