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Telephone Announcer


This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.

This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.

Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.

Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.

You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.

Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.

Let’s say you are having a nap and the phone rings awakening you from it. Should you get up to answer the phone, or just let it ring? This project helps you decide. You use the modem port on your computer to monitor caller-id, then modify the ring-tone based on what it hears. It can have different ring tones for different people, and for different times of day. It can stop ringing after N rings, where N is configurable per person, even if the caller does not hang up. The ring-tones can be any sound files, any cellphone ring-tone, your voice speaking a name. The app runs in your desktop computer all the time. You turn off the ringers in your telephones.

You might look at converting the app into a standalone box that plugs into a LAN (Local Area Network) or USB (Universal Serial Bus) port so you can use a computer keyboard and screen to program it. It would work even when all the computers on the LAN are turned off or missing.

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