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Desktop As a Cellphone Extension?

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the ring-it-on dept.

Communications 199

spaceman375 writes "Like many slashdotters, I've given up on landlines and have only a cell account. The problem: when I am home I don't want to carry my phone on my person, AND I don't want to have to run (possibly up or down stairs) to answer a call. Landlines solved this with extensions. I could go buy an xlink or other Bluetooth-to-POTS solution, but that takes money for equipment. My desktop has Bluetooth, as do my laptop and cell. All I want is a program that can use my cell's Bluetooth to make and receive calls from my Linux PC. I can do this with asterisk or related programs, but that is like buying UPS when I just need a taxi ride. Yet all I can find are programs that either use 'presence' to shift other-sourced calls to my cell, or ways to use a Bluetooth headset when receiving a call on a PC. Has anyone found a way to use their desktop to make and receive calls through their cell via Bluetooth?"

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Let me get this straight... (5, Insightful)

MikeV (7307) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507217)

You don't want to be bothered with carrying the phone with you (the easiest solution), and don't want to be bothered with having to run up or downstairs to answer the phone, so your idea is to what - answer it from your PC, which if you're away from it would STILL necessitate you having to rush to it up or downstairs to answer??? Just pocket the stupid phone and be done with it.

Re:Let me get this straight... (2, Insightful)

Khris (1010709) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507255)

I have to agree. It sounds like you're trying to reinvent the wheel when the problem can be solved by simply carrying your cell phone with you. It's not like it's a 50lb weight strapped to your back.

Re:Let me get this straight... (4, Interesting)

Cylix (55374) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507449)

I just have a cordless base station which connects to my cell via blue tooth.

It pairs with the phone when I get home and cordless phones are easy to get too.

You can buy more too.

Re:Let me get this straight... (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507509)


Re:Let me get this straight... (4, Informative)

zonky (1153039) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507689)

google has suggested: []

Re:Let me get this straight... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28507927)

Also available on for a little less $:

Re:Let me get this straight... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28508079)

OfficeMax has a fairly basic "cell fusion" phone for $60.

Re:Let me get this straight... (2, Insightful)

rednip (186217) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507467)

the problem can be solved by simply carrying your cell phone with you. It's not like it's a 50lb weight strapped to your back.

Do you carry your wallet all the time in your house? When I'm home, sometimes I don't even have pockets.

Re:Let me get this straight... (2, Informative)

Khris (1010709) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507521)

Actually yes, I do always carry my wallet with me.

Re:Let me get this straight... (5, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508243)

I also carry my wallet and cellular phone, a programmable calculator, as well as a passport and handgun (with extra clips) at all times in the house. I use a standard ziplock plastic bag and a lanyard around my neck when I'm in the shower. Sometimes, my wife gets angry because it pokes her in the eyes when we're having marital relations, and it did cause a bit of a problem for my late first wife (may she rest in peace) when I once left the safety off. You have to be prepared should local law enforcement demand to see your papers, or if the need should arise to make a cellular call, solve a differential equation, prove my status as a natural-born US citizen, stop a charging Kodiak bear or retrieve a phone number from one of the many slips of paper in my wallet.

You never know, and it's best to always be prepared.

Re:Let me get this straight... (5, Funny)

Demena (966987) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508305)

Robert Heinlein is that you?

Re:Let me get this straight... (1)

supernova_hq (1014429) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508821)

I take it you don't know much about kodiak bears...

Unless that "handgun" of yours is a high powered Magnum, the bullet will bounce right of its #$*&$'ing head!

Re:Let me get this straight... (5, Funny)

malkir (1031750) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507603)

Do you really want to imagine the general /. population naked?

Re:Let me get this straight... (3, Insightful)

MikeV (7307) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507649)

Solution A: Put on a pair of shorts with pockets or put the phone on the desk where you're working and relocate it when you move your operations to the TV room.

Solution B: Spend hours looking for non-existent software to try to make some whizzbang blue-tooth solution work with your PC which is not really a solution since the PC is also stationary and you don't necessarily spend all your time at the PC if you have half a life.

Solution C: Buy whizzbang extenders.

The easiest is apparent. Unless you're a nudist, a pair fo shorts with pockets is something we all have. And unless we're physically challenged, we all have hands that can pick up the phone and transfer it to the next place we park our butts. And what's wrong with having to get up and run across the house anyway? For some that's probably the only exercise we get anyway - so a little running could actually do us some good.

Re:Let me get this straight... (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507985)

Ok Cell phone coverage is limited to certain parts of the house , maybe i want to put the thing on charge my wifi coverage is pretty good. better than the cell phone coverage.

so it could be pretty cool to leave the handset somewhere with a good signal and use it remotely via my lan. It really shouldn't be that hard to achieve, plenty of bluetooth in car solutions around.

The daft thing is i can use bluetooth to put my netbook online even use skype via the cell network. Why not use it for voice calls or forwarding sms to my netbook.

As it happens i'm watching satellite tv on my netbook , sat box has a web page which lets me download a m3u file i can open with vlc. If I can easily watch a film live over my lan then a phone call should be easy.

In practice probably not, but its an interesting problem, who cares you can carry the mobile around :)

windows mobile to XP (and Vista) (5, Informative)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508049) []

Ok theres a windows solution for windows mobile phones (it looks like it should work for other mobiles).

now who can find a linux solution.

Re:Let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28507687)

I leave my wallet in my coat pocket, where it belongs (I don't need my wallet when I'm at home).
Your phone is a way to *contact you*.

If you don't want to be contacted, turn it off.
If you want to be contactable, keep it with you.

Yes, it really is that simple.

Re:Let me get this straight... (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508001)

I leave my wallet in my front pocket, even at home. See, guests might have that urge to go snooping through other's stuff - My wallet stays on my person unless I'm in bed or in water.

Re:Let me get this straight... (4, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508147)

Solution: Better guests.

Re:Let me get this straight... (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508123)

Coat?! Who on earth wears a coat with any regularity?

Re:Let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28508691)

Solution: sell your house, live in box, wear coat always

Re:Let me get this straight... (1)

no1nose (993082) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507929)

We need some kind of bandoleer to hold cell-phones, remotes, tools, network adapters, etc... for those times when we don't have pockets.

Re:Let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28507725)

Another reason to want this is something I ran into at college this year. My crappy t-mobile service does not work in any building on campus, including my room, so the phone has to stay on the window sill behind my raised bed, making picking up phonecalls inconvenient. I ended up using a bluetooth headset, but a computer solution would have been easier.

Re:Let me get this straight... (2, Insightful)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507741)

Maybe the guy is ALWAYS on his PC when at home. Maybe he even falls asleep in front of the PC before waking up in the morning to go do his daily tasks ;-))

Re:Let me get this straight... (2, Interesting)

LihTox (754597) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508111)

Cellphones generally have to be charged, and cellphones don't always work everywhere in the house.

Re:Let me get this straight... (2, Informative)

imamac (1083405) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508153)

1. Get Google Voice. 2. Set it to ring your cell and a Skype number. 3. No step 3. See how easy that was?

Re:Let me get this straight... (2, Interesting)

Wamellx (1518011) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508383)

Another problem, Google Voice isn't open to the public yet.

Re:Let me get this straight... (1)

impaledsunset (1337701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508181)

Yep. Keep the phone in your pocket and don't bother with anything else.

But if you really want to, use Asterisk. Or use FreeSWITCH as suggested in another post. They would be easier to set up than looking for other solutions, they are not much resource intensive, so the comparison with UPS would be more acceptable if you could buy them for the price of the taxi. Not only they would do everything you need, but should you decide to extend your needs, you'll be able to do it with just a little change in the configuration. Both are decent solutions, and the fact that they are used for much more massive installations with gazillion of users shouldn't bother you. They're good for one user, too. It's not an overkill when it doesn't increase the cost.

no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28507219)


No, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28507223)

then I haven't looked.

Grand Central (5, Insightful)

cps42 (102752) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507245)

I understand you dont want to run for your phone -- Bluetooth won't reach up and down stairs, so linking phone and computer are likely not going to solve your problem. Why not use Grand Central [] and a Skype number? Have Grand Central ring your cell and your Skype number at the same time. Then whichever you're closest to, you can answer.

Re:Grand Central (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28507291)

Grand central isn't available to the general public yet.

They have been opening it up to those on the waiting list over the last few days, but overall it's still a closed site.

Re:Grand Central (5, Interesting)

chipschap (1444407) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507461)

You don't need to pay for a Skype number; get a Gizmo account. That works perfectly in conjunction with Google Voice (formerly Grand Central). Google Voice will ring your cell phone and your Gizmo SIP number simultaneously. This makes for a completely free solution (but people will have to learn to call your Google Voice number). You can also make free domestic calls from Google Voice, via Gizmo. Google Voice will ring your Gizmo SIP number and then connect your call. Of course, the other option, as many here have stated, is to put your phone in your pocket and be done with it.

Re:Grand Central (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507939)

I've had problems with simultaneous ring service with cellphones before; there are inevitably circumstances where the cell goes straight to voicemail and terminates the IP call. "Find me, follow me" works well though, ring the IP phone a few times, then switch to cell.

Re:Grand Central (2, Informative)

adolf (21054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508021)

Google Voice doesn't have that problem.

It just rings all of the phones of my choosing, and if someone answers one of them, it talks to me: "You have a call from [caller's name]. Press 1 to answer, 2 to send to voice mail, 3 to listen in on the voice mail, or 4 to accept and record the call."

Since neither my home answering machine nor my cell phone's voice mail know how to dial 1, calls don't get terminated if voice mail (or whatever) answers inappropriately. It'd work the same way with a Gizmo SIP extension, if I'd ever bothered to set one up . . .

I don't remember if this was the default behavior, or something that I had to set up with Google Voice, but it works just fine for me.

Re:Grand Central (1)

chipschap (1444407) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508099)

Google Voice has worked fine for me also, with cellphone, Gizmo, and office number, with no cross interference from pre-emptive voicemail answering. Interestingly enough, I also have an incoming Skype number (a "regular" phone number also called "Skype-In"), and it does *not* play well with Google Voice. If I am not signed in to Skype, then Skype voicemail picks up immediately and kills ringing on the other phones. There seems to be no Skype option to tell it to wait a few rings, or for that matter, to even turn off voicemail.

Re:Grand Central (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28507599)

I have to say that I use this service. which is now and I love it. Obviously it is still not open to everyone but you can request an invite. I wish it would still let me invite people or else I would. But I have this one number ring my cell, my comp and my office. The downside to this is that if someone calls your cell phone directly it will still only ring your cell phone not all of them because you get a new number with Google Voice.

Re:Grand Central (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28508187)

Vonage offers something similar

No such functionality (0)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507263)

Celphones, at least ones I have seen, do not allow initiating calls from a remotely attached computer or forwarding audio there. It may be possible to make a computer pretend to be a headset, however an easier solution would be to simply wear a Bluetooth headset with sufficient range.

Re:No such functionality (2, Informative)

theeddie55 (982783) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507591)

look like a twat (wear a bluetooth headset all day) is not a good solution to anything, i'd have to stick with carrying the phone, if you tend to wear cloths without pockets, get a belt clip. If you're a naturist, get a lanyard to hang your phone on or stick the phone up your ass, there's always a way. (BTW that last bit was a joke, unless you feel that it's something you want to try. :-))

Re:No such functionality (2, Funny)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508041)

"(BTW that last bit was a joke, unless you feel that it's something you want to try. :-))"

Yep, I can see it now. everyone's got their phone set to vibrate, and it's up their ass. War-dialing never seemed more tempting!

Re:No such functionality (2, Informative)

ttldkns (737309) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507645)

check out bluephone elite. its for the mac, but it does everything the OP wants

Re:No such functionality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28507659)

Celphones, at least ones I have seen, do not allow initiating calls from a remotely attached computer or forwarding audio there.

The devices certainly exist. Once my cell phone is paired with my car, I can see the phone's contact list on the car dashboard, place calls using the steering wheel controls and the phone call audio is routed through the car's speakers. Even the phone's voice recognition works via bluetooth.

I haven't heard of this functionality for a pc, but there's no technical reason preventing it.

Re:No such functionality (1, Troll)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507809)

Bollocks [] . You can easily make calls using the phone from the computer. If a headset can do it, what makes you think a computer can't ? I can make calls with one touch from my earpiece. Or do you mean YOUR cellphone doesn't ? Get a decent phone or provider than.

It's possible, but... (2, Interesting)

Burpmaster (598437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507269)

The BlueZ code to host the handsfree profile is fairly new and might be immature. And I don't know of a program to actually use it, so you might have to write your own client program.

Use Forward (2, Informative)

lunk (80231) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507321)

I just forward my calls to my asterisk instance with *72 on Verizon. *72111-222-3333.

Two options (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28507357)

Install an elevator so you don't have to run up and down stairs, or carry your phone with you.

1989 called. (2, Informative)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507389)

They want their breezeblock-sized phones that run off a car battery back. Apparently you were supposed to go and buy a modern phone that you can carry with you.

Re:1989 called. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28508095)

Troll? Really? My cheap Samsung (European) GSM flip phone is tiny, with a battery that lasts for nearly two weeks of light to moderate usage.

If you're moving around, outside or in, stick it in your pocket. If you're at home in one room for a while, take it out if you must. Unless you're wearing really tight jeans or leaning on your hip, I can't imagine you even notice it. I've seen a lot of absurdly petty Ask Slashdots, but this one takes the cake in creating a problem where none exists.

From a previous /. thread... (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507399)

How 'bout something like the XLink [] or one of these [] similar products?

This isn't what you're asking for, but it might actually be close to what you really want.

(I haven't used anything like these, but a couple people said good things about the XLink one in a previous /. story this was mentioned in.)

HFP For Linux (4, Interesting)

kylegordon (159137) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507409)

You probably want to look into the No Hands [] project. It'll allow you to control your phone remotely over bluetooth from your PC. Aimed primarily at in-car situations, I guess it'll work just as well on the desktop.

Re:HFP For Linux (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508909)

Aspire one netbook running ubuntu jaunty belkin micro usb bluetooth adapter and an old motorolla v3

sudo apt-get install subversion g++ autoconf libtool libspeexdsp-dev libasound2-dev libbluetooth-dev libaudiofile-dev libdbus-1-dev

svn co []
cd trunk/ ./ ./configure
sudo make install
sudo hciconfig hci0 scomtu 64:8

pair the phone and the laptop

dial out using the netbook

It works not sure of the audio device settings yet thou just took a few minutes to download build and install

you can use checkinstall to build a deb package
sudo apt-get install checkinstall
and instead of make install use
sudo checkinstall

easy :)

Skype (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28507415)

Use a skype phone number, and set it to forward calls to your cell if you don't pick or you're not logged in.

Seems much simpler.

Three options (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28507437)

1. Carry your cellphone with you. Could be a problem if you like to roam the house naked.
2. Get a landline. Could be a problem if you're allergic to landlines.
3. Let the damn thing ring. Could be a problem if you have some compulsive need to be instantly at everyone's beck and call. In that case see a shrink.

Why so complicated? (3, Informative)

fluch (126140) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507439)

Place your battery charger at a convenient place and when ever you get home plug the phone into the charger and do NOT unplug it untill you leave the house. Then you have the same functionality as you had with a fixed line phone with a cord. You cannot misplace your phone anymore.

OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28507455)

On OSX there is BluePhoneElite.

Your big issue is Bluetooth range.

You're over thinking it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28507463)

You want to be able to answer your phone from your computer? That would indicate that you plan on being at/near your computer while you are home. Why not just leave your cell phone sitting on your desk? Since you would have to be there to answer it using the computer anyway you won't have to go any further than you would with your idea.

You're trying to over think this one.

Asterisk & chan_mobile (1)

ewirt (70797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507477)

Check out the Asterisk software, and specifically the "chan_mobile" extension. It allows you to use a cellphone (with bluetooth) as an "incoming" channel for a phone system, or to use the cellphone as an extension on the phone system. I believe that chan_mobile is included by default in the newest (1.6.x) version of the asterisk software.

Asterisk has a fairly steep learning curve, so it will likely be a time consuming adventure to get it all working, but assuming the bluetooth on your phone supports it, it should allow you to do what you want. You will need to have a Linux computer that has bluetooth, runs the asterisk software, and you will also need an "FXS" port (can be a $15 internal card, or a $30 IP based one) that connects your home phones to the computer.

The site [] and the asterisk-users mailing list [] are both invaluable if you are just starting out with asterisk.

If diving into setting up your own asterisk server from scratch is too daunting, it may be easiest to try a prebuilt setup (such as Trixbox CE [] ) and then following one of the guides for adding chan_mobile support to it. I can't personally say how involved this would be, since I've never used any of the pre-setup Asterisk systems.

Good luck!

Hunkasaurus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28507485)

Whenever Google Voice decides to launch, your problems will be solved.

This thread is fucking stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28507523)

Seriously, get with the now.
You feel comfortable carrying your laptop with you, but your mobile is too much of a problem?

Fucking wank American.

Change Bluetooth Adapters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28507537)

Maybe change to a Class 1 Bluetooth adapter so you can put the phone anywhere. With the latest Widcomm/Broadcom Bluetooth stacks, you can answer calls on the PC. (Windows)

At least with Sony Ericsson phones, you can make/answer calls with Bluetooth.

My solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28507581)

I have a solution called a "cell phone belt holster", and it cost me $14 at some store in the local mall. If my phone vibrates, no matter where I am inside or outside my house, I can answer it immediately.

If the phone's NOT on my belt, it means I don't want to answer a call. When I had a landline, if it rang while I was brushing my teeth, it went to voicemail. My cell phone's no different.

Same problem- so fixed it (2, Informative)

iamtheprincess (1572207) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507625)

We are not near the computer at all times sometimes out side working so not realistic to have the cell phone on you. and have to have it inside pluged in to charge. So I got a house phone with base unit and 3 portable phones. solved all problems karen []

Let me get this straight (5, Informative)

Pokey.Clyde (1322667) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507655)

You neither want to carry your phone with you, nor do you want to have to actually walk somewhere to answer it. Are you really that damn lazy? It's a damn phone. Stick it in your pocket and be done with it. Shit, do you need help tying your shoes, too? Get a helmet and go on about your life.

Cellphone, home phone, sip and the freebox (2, Informative) (744478) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507671)

If you live in France you get a my favorite ISP, (don t have any commercial relation but be one of his customer), free (appears at on irc )who has what they call a freebox (, which is one of the inventor as what we know now as triple pay for internet, phone, and video, and they offer as a small but good geek bonus an option like a sip account, wifi, and redirections of your phone line linked to your adsl account to that sip account you own. now if you have a phone on which the sip works (bought a n85 a week ago), then you can do what as you want, have a single device. However note that peoples still have 2 numbers to contact you and you still have 2 outgoing choices for phone calls. They got other bonuses like tivo like recoder with HD channels, about 180 channels, and phone to landline to 60 countries for 30â, good news server retention, usualy, 6MB adsl, ipv6, Gb sized mail with zimbra and web account with apache mysql. (note that they had to inovate and redo the dslam infrastructure to do that), hoo too much goodies. I even like their geeky tv ads, and i mean by anyway , long time ago in france when isp were charging us for internet access on top of the phone comunication fee (which was way higher than now), and free was the first to have no charge on top of the phone fees, and that's where they got their name and then their infrastructure and budget to do what they do now. Now also be prepaired to wait for 3 months to get your dsl line, because the historic operator always make a few errors when switching the connecting to their lines.

I went with a a hardware solution (2, Informative)

midicase (902333) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507695)

I thought about these issues and ended up just buying a Panasonic bluetooth capable home phone: []
I paid about 100 USD.
When the cell phone is in range the base acts just like a headset but relay's the call to any of the three cordless phone handsets around the house. My wife has even grown accustomed to it but there are a couple drawbacks. Weak bluetooth signal drains the battery, fast. No voicemail alert.
I west so far as to port my land number to wireless and just leave the extra cell phone plugged in the charger near the base-station. I can't even see the cell or the base-station, just have the threee handset strategically placed around the house.

Chose FreeSWITCH over Asterisk (3, Interesting)

diego.viola (1104521) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507715)

I have been using FreeSWITCH, it does much more things than Asterisk and it's a lot more stable and flexible, check it out:

Most VoIP providers such as Teliax Inc,, iCall, etc, are switching from Asterisk to FreeSWITCH because of it's flexibility, stability and features.

"How does FreeSWITCH compare to Asterisk?"

Re:Chose FreeSWITCH over Asterisk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28507777)

I work with a few of the freeswitch guys and have seen one of their future works... it's impressive to say the least.

Re:Chose FreeSWITCH over Asterisk (1)

diego.viola (1104521) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508237)

Yep, indeed... I also like the fact that you is extremely extensible, you can script it with whatever language you want. Freeswitch itself supports Lua, Perl, Python, etc. and you can call any dialplan application from it's event socket, the event socket has two modes: inbound and outbound, and you can let Freeswitch connect to your own script, ie: a ruby script, and control it in whatever way you want, it's amazing.

Re:Chose FreeSWITCH over Asterisk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28508435)

And I'm sure you have no relation to the Freeswitch effort and are making these claims from unbiased personal experiences.

Re:Chose FreeSWITCH over Asterisk (1)

diego.viola (1104521) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508609)

Yes I have, I have suggested tons of ideas, helped their users and their community and I'm currently writing a web application (billing application) that works with FreeSWITCH.

I'm sure you are a coward, as your name says "Anonymous Coward", login with your real user and come back if you are enough of a man.

So, you're a cheap consumer? (3, Insightful)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507751)

You have a free solution -- putting your phone in your pocket, which is actually easier than leaving it somewhere.
You have a convenient solution -- you've listed a system that gives you the pots.
You have an extravagent solution -- you can go ups.

And you still aren't happy?!

Write your own, and stop whining. I'd kill to have those three solutions for any of my problems: do little, spend money, or get a lot. You aren't happy with any of them?!

Carry the phone with you (3, Insightful)

Ernesto Alvarez (750678) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507773)

I find it amazing that you're asking for a solution that requires no effort to set up, lets you answer the phone everywhere and does not require any investment. It looks like you're asking for the impossible. However the solution is very simple:


If you don't want to carry it, that's what extensions are for. You're asking how to convert your PC in an extension. Also, you'll need to rush to the extension (or your PC, and let me tell you that buying an extension is cheaper than buying a PC) every time it rings.

You're asking for the ultimate solution in telecommunications. It doesn't exist yet.

Re:Carry the phone with you (1)

SheeEttin (899897) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508047)

He could nail the phone to his head. That'd satisfy all his conditions.

Ignores reality of houses (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508051)

In a number of houses, if you go in the basement the cell signal may die off. Just having it with you doesn't mean you'll always get calls... that's why something like a cell phone docking station that can stay up where signal is strongest makes sense.

Google Talk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28507821)

this would require that you either have a landline or voip setup in your house, but check out google talk

Convergence (1)

ivoras (455934) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507829)

It's not very imaginative to conclude that the ultimate goal of these technologies is to achieve convergence between the various devices, to seamlessly use them all from either one of them.

My own short-term wishlist is:

  • Store personal information, like the address book, possibly e-mail and other messages, etc. mirrored (synced in real time) between my mobile phone and a datacenter in a bunker somewhere safe. I carry my mobile phone around with me all the time, so every desktop should just pick up the data from it. OTOH, I also need a secure backup if I lose it. Encryption can solve most of the issues here.
  • Have a high-speed low-range wireless link between my desktop and my phone when I put it on the desk (or are somewhere in the room). By "high-speed" here I mean "enough to transfer data such as the mentioned address book, e-mail, etc." in real-time back and forth. 54 Mbit/s looks "good enough" for this purpose. I imagine something like Bluetooth on steroids, only less sucky, probably using IPv6 rather than some internal ad-hoc packet formatting. I want the mobile phone to be a regular network node and that's where Bluetooth fails. I also don't want for the phone batteries not to be excessively drained from using the link, so WiFi also fails.
  • If the mobile phone CPU is strong enough (and it looks like the new 500 MHz+ mobile phones are bordering "enough"), run some basic applications on the mobile phone but access it via "remote desktop" (e.g. VNC, RDP, whatever) from the desktop. Even better, use something like VMWare and similar applications do and make "seamless" integration between the windows of the mobile phone and the "real" desktop, with smart sharing of specific services like audio and phonecalls made from the desktop. Of course, I don't want to run big or CPU-intensive applications on the phone, but I imagine something with the capabilities of Word 95 (remember, it ran on 486 machines with 100 MHz and 4 MB of RAM) would be fine.
  • Have a long-range low-bandwidth connection for general Internet access (of course, with fallback to the low-range high-bandwidth one when in range), capable of relatively (from 2009. point of view) low-bandwidth tasks like streaming standard-def YouTube videos, city-wide.

This is what I think I need, YMMV. Much of these points are very very near of being done already. The major thing that's holding the whole concept back is that the cell-phone manufacturers (or probably more probably, the telcos) insist that the phones don't run a general purpose OS that would make it all possible with custom applications.

Unpopular Answer (1)

thpdg (519053) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507855)

For Windows, most of the Bluetooth dongles I've tried come with the profile and drivers to use the PC as a Bluetooth speakerphone for a paired PC.
Is there such a possibility for Linux?

HFP for Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28507913)

If you are interested you can try HFP for linux ( )
I seem to have some problem with hearing my mobile while i'm at computer with headphones... so it's always nice to have
an On Screen Display to show me of incoming calls at least.
And for all those ./ers who are just discussing why you want that solution instead of giving hints, maybe because they don't know the solution i've to say... grow up!

good luck with it!

Panasonic has a solution for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28507955)

I don't know where the OP has been shopping around, but Panasonic makes a Bluetooth based DECT home phone system [] . Just place the cell phone next to the main unit. And all incoming/outgoing calls go through the handsets. And you can add more handsets for each room of the house. Last time I checked, Fry's Electronics (brick and mortar stores) were selling these for around USD$75 for a starter kit.

Easy Cheep Way (1)

WillRobinson (159226) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507971)

Go buy a flipping magic jack, and call forward your cell. Plug your old pots phones into the magic jack and done. for 20$ a year or so. That cheep enough??? Unlimited long distance too.

Re:Easy Cheep Way (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508453)

I've got a Dlink VTR unbundled from vonage (I never had a vonage contract) plugs into my router and can be used to provide 2 lines ,used it with a Pabx 16 extensions (free landline calls) (replace a landline and use adsl or cable), even works (just) with mobile broadband).

theres a few similar boxes around that don't even need hacking to work.
still not ideal people have the mobile number and call him, voip requires a 2nd number or him paying to get his calls forwarded to his voip number.

now getting the call from the mobile and forwarding using sip could be ideal.
How about using an old mobile phone no contract sat at his house routed via his server to his location anywhere in the world. That vtr box of mine doesn't care where its connected on the net, with an access number which is local (free) for my friends and family to use via regular pots.

The Easy Answer (4, Funny)

Quothz (683368) | more than 5 years ago | (#28507999)

I have a low-cost, public-domain solution I use. It's called "not answering my phone". If I'm working at home or anticipating a call, I keep my phone nearby. Otherwise, I feel no special obligation to answer it. If you have to worry about emergency work/family calls, assign special ringtones to potential callers-with-emergencies. If you are the sort of person that absolutely must answer it regardless, then simply smoke lots of pot until you're no longer that sort of person. Easy!

Dock n' talk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28508011)

Here's an easy solution.. (3, Funny)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508075)

Kids less than ~12 yrs old. It goes like this.. GET ME MY PHONE :)

Re:Here's an easy solution.. (2, Funny)

DanJ_UK (980165) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508135)

I believe the OP was looking for a cost effective solution that doesn't require extra equipment. I believe (don't quote me on it), that children have a substantial overhead in terms of cost, time and patience.

You are now in the dictionary ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28508081)

Under the entry "educated idiot".

You're lucky I'm not in charge, because if I was you'd be taken away in the night for a few years of
hard labor, after which I am willing to bet you'd quit worrying about problems you don't even have.

Now excuse me while I PUKE at the thought of your existence.

simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28508141)

use time hardware purchase..

Bluetooth Cordless Phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28508197)

I have an old Uniden ELBT595- it pairs to a cellphone as a handsfree and you can use it like normal after that. Still on Uniden's site, but I don't see it at BestBuy's anymore- and its only single extension. Going to Telephones/Cordless/Bluetooth on Bestbuy's site came up with a couple DECT expandable setups - AT&T TL92278 and Panasonic KX-TH1212B as examples. Seems like what you are after to me.


Asterisk... (4, Informative)

lordsid (629982) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508239)

Congratulations you answered your own question in the very same post you posed it in.

There is no "buying" asterisk, it's open source. At most you will need an FXS card/box. The FXS card allows you to ring your house phones. If you want to deal with a real land line you need an FXO card.

Using the FollowMe feature in Asterisk will give you exactly what you ask for. In all you shouldn't have to spend more then $300 on the card and computer. Best part is you can keep using the same house phones you've had all along. (SIP phones cost $90+)

Your ideal setup would be a cellphone with a friends and family package where you pick a number you get unlimited calls to. Setup a SIP account through one of the many services. This will give you a callable number. Pick this as your number in your friends and family package. Connect the asterisk box to the sip account. You can now call home to your asterisk box over the internet for free, you can then call out again using your asterisk box to any other sip user for free or to any other landline for a small charge depending on the service (typically $0.01/min).

Want HAL or Minerva (or her sister Athene) (1)

rcpitt (711863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508253)

OK - so I plug my cell into the USB dongle that charges it - now I want the phone to be answered by the AI in my machine - and filter the call: pass it through via the speakers and microphones in the house, record a message, or call the FTC/CRTC for the voice spammer.

So I want all the functionality of turning the phone into a demarc point to the cell service - so I can call out, answer, ignore or whatever - but through the AI (penguin powered) in my home.

There's a product in there somewhere!

pleasurable solution (2, Funny)

ragutis (934425) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508375)

Solution 1:
Wear clothes
Wear cellphone

Solution 2, if you don't want to wear clothes.

Acquire velcro cable ties

Attach above to cell
Set cell to vibrate

Call friends, leave messages.

Use velcro to attach cell to proper body part


My Suggestion (3, Insightful)

webheaded (997188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508415)

Take your cell phone and put it on your computer desk. This is the most retarded question I've ever seen.

why? (1)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508593)

Bluephone Elite for the Mac kind of does what you are asking for. But why? A cell phone is actually better at making phone calls than a desktop PC, desktop microphone, and desktop speakers.

you are asking such a backwards question?!? (1)

crispytwo (1144275) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508653)

In all seriousness... it shouldn't be, "can I share my cell phone with other devices?", it should be "may I use several devices with my phone number?" Notice, it is the phone number that is at issue here, not the "talkie" part.

The simple answer is yes, but not the way you want to. And no, because the cell phone company will likely not participate... yet. The cell phone companies don't want to provide just "data service" since they wouldn't be able to severely bill you for the extra features on your phone.

I see that in an ideal world, i.e. the one we don't live in, we would have data access on our phones and that's it... thus voice communication would be just something that your "cell" device can do.

Today, the easiest way to accomplish what you want here is to use VoIP.

Simple Solution (1)

niteshifter (1252200) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508705)

Duct tape.

Just tape the damn phone to you, like under an arm. Then you won't be bothered with having to keep the phone with you. Just position it so that the charging jack is accessible, plug it in while you sleep.

Now wasn't that easy, quick and simple?

On a less sarcastic note: You do know that nearly all cell phones use low power BT and that the 30m range is for absolutely perfect conditions? That in the real world of walls / wiring, metal clad big appliances and ambient noise that range can be as low as scant (single digit) meters?

Similar to the unpopular Answer (1)

PapaSmurph (249554) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508725)

I've been looking for something exactly like that, but for my Windows Vista notebook, that way, I can use my notebook mics and speakers as a hands free phone. HFP for Linux would be great, but not being much of a Microsoft code monkey, I doubt I could get it to work.

Patrick (thpdg (519053)), any ideas if the software for those dongles would work with the "HP Integrated Module with Bluetooth 2.0 Wireless Technology" in my notebook?



Encrypted cellular (1)

dyfet (154716) | more than 5 years ago | (#28508759)

I had experimented with pairing a PC bluetooth with a cell phone. Mostly though I was experimenting with establishing a ZRTP-like session over bluetooth audio to do secure end-to-end media over the cellular network, rather than the application proposed here.

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