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Re: Phone dialer for Linux

On February 12, 2004 01:16, Mark wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 11, 2004 at 11:46:38PM -0500, David P James wrote:
> > On February 11, 2004 12:41, John Hasler wrote:
> >
> > Right... but what I'm looking for is just a way to pass a phone
> > number as a command line parameter so that I can then pick up the
> > telephone handset and start chatting away with the person or
> > answering machine on the other end. My understanding of PPP is that
> > it will then attempt to make a connection with a remote machine,
> > something I do not want to do.
> man chat., atdp<phone number>

How exactly is that helpful? man chat just gives me the man page for the 
chat program, which I have already looked at half a dozen times. As I 
wrote earlier, the man pages for modem-related programs are the most 
esoteric and non-helpful man pages in existence. The chat manpage 
declares that more information on chat scripts (whatever that is) can 
be found in the uucp documentation. So off I went and looked at the 
uucp man page and lo and behold there is no documentation whatsoever 
concerning scripts of any type. I'm glad I never had to configure PPP 
as a newbie, since even after 5 years of Linux use I can't figure it 

chat -T <tel #> does nothing at all, nor does there appear to be a way 
to specify a device on the command line, which would seem to me to be 
rather essential.

And what does atdp<phone number> represent? Once I've got a terminal 
open, sure, I can do that, but that's not really all that useful. I 
don't mind if a terminal opens up, just so long as nothing has to be 
typed in there other than perhaps to hang up following the call.

 I'm looking for a single shot command like the one I dreamed up 

~$somedialer -D /dev/ttyS0 -P{ulse} -N <tel #>

that can be specified in kaddressbook to dial a phone number, much as 
can already be done for fax numbers. Since this operation can already 
be done for the far more complicated process of faxing it ought to be 
straight forward for simply dialing out and doing nothing else. Having 
to manually type out "atdp <tel #>" from within a terminal defeats the 
purpose of the exercise.

cu comes close but it still won't allow me in practice to specify a 
number before entering the terminal session. ie,
~$cu -l ttyS0 -c 5551234
does not work whilst
~$cu -l ttyS0 and then atdp5551234
does work but now I'm no further ahead than typing out the number on the 
telephone itself since the number can't be passed from kaddressbook as 
a string.

In case you are wondering what I am going on about in kaddressbook, the 
following screenshot should clarify things (ant-phone is an internet 
phone - I already thought of that...)

kaddressbook presents phone numbers, fax numbers, email addresses and 
website urls as clickable links, the idea being that you can simply 
call, fax, mail or browse to that person's page with a single click. 
Simplicity defined I would say, but the inability to find a simple 
phone dialer for Linux puts a halt to that.
David P James
Ottawa, Ontario

There is no art which one government sooner learns of another
than that of draining money from the pockets of the people.
-Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

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