Years ago, in the burgeoning age of 900Mhz cordless phones, I was working a desktop support job with a major industrial/agricultural equipment manufacturer.  Since this was my first foray into corporate IT, I learned many skills that could be utilized for a number of different purposes, and became the foundation on which all my skills now rest.

I would on occasion make some phone calls in the morning on the cordless phone, then leave it sitting on the table when I left – not in the charging base.

Since I lived pretty close to home, I would often drive back to the apartment for lunch and would notice that the phone was beeping; i.e. a completely drained battery.  Huh.  That was odd, I thought.  I had a nearly full battery in the morning.  Well, I found out pretty quickly what was going on – – I had a sick day not too long after the battery issues started – and realized that I was getting a TON of marketing calls – we’re talking around 10 or more per day.

The constant ringing was killing the battery over time…

So, after awhile, I got fed up and did what any IT person would do – use my skills to work around a major problem.

  • I plugged my analog line into my PC and then installed WinFax (remember that?) to become my answering machine.
  • Configured WinFax to answer only between the hours of 7:30 and 4:30 on 1 ring.
  • Found a phone number that was not in service, recorded the “bu-du-beep” tones on my computer and set it up as my answering message.
  • Left this set up for about 2 weeks.

After the two weeks were up, I received NO further telemarketing calls.

By far this has to be my proudest achievement with regards to clever uses of tech at home.

[Picture Source: Coto (CC)]

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