DOS answering machine ???

Rick Bensene rickb at
Sun Oct 15 20:35:59 CDT 2006

> >I am looking for a DOS program to turn my computer into an answering
> >machine.

There was a dedicated ISA-bus card for the PC called "Watson" that did
exactly that under DOS.  It had a character-based user-interface.  It
allowed remote access to the voicemail boxes.  It could also serve as a
"demon dialer", intercepting touch tone signals to do speed dialing and
other functions.  The device had two RJ-11 jacks, one for the phone line
coming into the house, and the other which fed all of the rest of the
phones in the house.  It could also, with optional software, be set up
as a basic AVR system.  It could also serve as a 1200-baud (IIRC) modem.
I don't recall any FAX capabilities.

I have one of these around somewhere, and even the "voicemail" software
(on 5 1/4" DOS floppies), along with the documentation.  I used it for
quite some time on a clone "XT"-class machine utilizing a NEC-made
8088-compatible micrprocessor.  It worked pretty well, though the
biggest problem was that there was no indication at the phone that
voicemail was waiting.  You either had to check it, or go to the PC to
see if there were messages.

Rick Bensene
The Old Calculator Web Museum 

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