Caller ID (Home Phone Line)

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Void Main
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Caller ID (Home Phone Line)

Post by Void Main »

Well, I finally joined the 20th century and got Caller ID on my land line (I know, I could get with the 21st century and get rid of the land line altogether). I picked up a cheap cordless phone and answering machine with Caller ID capabilities and I had the phone company turn on Caller ID because I got tired of getting those stupid telemarketer calls. It really tweaks me off that I get them especially when I have an unlisted number. Well anyway, I found that when the phone rang I still had to get up and look at the phone to see who was calling so I could decide if I wanted to answer it or not. Well, this didn't save me a lot as it still interrupted anything I might have been doing at the time of the call.

So I got to thinking, those new fangled modems (circa mid 1990s) have CID capability built in. I figured I could just hook up one of my old modems to one of my many computers and read the incoming numbers and have it notify me who was calling over my speakers (festival) or some other means. I thought before I did this I would ask Google if anyone out there has already done this. Turns out they have done exactly what I had in mind and a little extra. This little gem called "ncid" is the bees knees:

http://ncid.sourceforge.net/

I just installed the RPM on several of my machines. Turned on the ncidd server service on the machine with the modem attached and the ncid client service on several of my other machines to do notification. So now when my phone rings a couple of my computers in key locations say who is calling via festival and my MythTV PVR actually displays the incoming call on the on screen display. There are several methods of notification or you can add your own custom notification script. There is also a nice alias file so you can modify the incoming call data to however you like. For instance I change "TOLL FREE CALL" to "Telemarketer" (I could think of a few other choice words to translate it to). I also have it put custom names in for specific incoming phone numbers. There is also a standalone GUI client that will display the incoming caller data. Pretty slick. I'm thinking about creating a little web database interface for alias data. Nah, too lazy.

I'm thinking they probably already make phones that will speak the incoming number and names for a little bit more money but I haven't researched it. This was cheap and is infinitely customizable.
Last edited by Void Main on Mon Oct 23, 2006 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Void Main »

Just got another TOLL FREE CALL and looked it up on Google. I guess I made the right choice not to answer:

http://whocalled.us/lookup/8664021045

Google is my hero. Now if I could just get these idiots to quit calling me. There might actually be hope for this too. I see on the MAYBE TODO list for ncid this item:
- Add a new client output module to hang up the phone if the number
is blacklisted.
For my purposes I'm thinking of a little bit different approach. I would hack the server to read something like the alias file and if a number/name exists in that file to have the modem go off-hook and then immediately on-hook. Just hang up on those CeNsOrEd. :) In fact I could just modify the alias logic to accept another keyword in the alias file for hangup. I wouldn't think this should be too hard. I'm thinking lines in the alias file that look like this:
hangup NAME "TOLL FREE CALL"
hangup NMBR 8664021045

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Post by JoeDude »

I am jumping on this train! I absolutely love the idea of having my TV and computer tell me who is calling, and, hanging up for certain numbers without me ever having to leave the comfort of my chair...

Thanx for researching and implementing the questions the rest of us ask, but never get around to doing anything about! I just happen to have several V-90 modems laying around and was wondering how I could use them...now I know!

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Post by Void Main »

I added a feature request for hangup capabilities:

http://sourceforge.net/tracker/index.ph ... tid=560303

I may make this contribution myself if I get some time.

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Post by Calum »

this is one of the best things i have ever heard of!

sadly i know i won't be arsed to get the hardware for it (a caller ID phone) and also i bet the software isn't compatible with the standards in place here (which are different i think from those in the US)

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Post by Void Main »

You don't actually need a Caller ID phone, just a modem capable of it which from what I understand, most recent modems are capable of it. If you don't have one it seems you can get one for around $10 (in US dollars that is). But as you say, it might not work where you are and I have no idea what the phone systems are like where you are. I would think there is something similar.

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Post by Master of Reality »

...now for an answering machine on linux.

I'm kind of surprised you havent moved to VoIP yet, i was thinking about switching, but i only recently got my phone number and it would change again if i got VoIP (too much hassle telling everyone my new number again).

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Post by Void Main »

A guy I work with has it (VoIP) and likes it. I'm just too lazy to do the paperwork. :) Also, there are Linux answering machines. In fact you can do it with mgetty. As a matter of fact I was thinking about it today it would be cool if in addition to hacking the source of ncid to hang up on people that I could have it answer, play a from a selection of recorded messages, and then hang up. In fact if that isn't that hard to do it probably also wouldn't be that hard to also take a recording to complete the answering machine functionality. Hmmmmmmm..... wheels are starting to spin.... :)

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Post by JoeDude »

HAHAHA...When I get around to it, I'll check out the difference between syphone systems here. I know with a jack adapter, American phones work fine here. Of course it takes more than that. I have a lot of American electronics which require 110v. So I have a few step-down transformers strategically placed around the house. Regardless, my American phones with caller ID still work here, as well as the all the other functionalities of the phone.

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