TOEJAM is a Java Answering Machine. Using a Voice Modem as the base of an IVR system, it has been running 24x7 since Nov 2001 at my home handling phone calls and emailing the results. Currently can use US Robotics 56K Pro Msg, USR Sportster may work.


I've always wanted to have an intelligent answering machine that did more than just play a message and then record a message. I wanted it to deal with different callers in different ways, tell me of important calls (by SMS'ing my mobile) and even not annoying me before 10am on a Sunday unless the caller was on a shortlist of people.

What I was looking at was an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system. They usually require specialised hardware of some kind to handle the phone system. It occurred to me that existing voice modems should be able to handle the job somewhat and so the project began.

What I have ended up with is (to me) an exciting project that I can delve into with my free time (limited as it is) that will directly benefit myself (I have been running this in my house since November 2001 as my answering machine), and hopefully provide a similar advantage to other people.  I am working on it continually and I do have grand plans for it (because I want those features running on my home installation).

Almost no Limit

After starting this I realised the typical programmer's dilemma when over motivated with ideas, scope creep. This project can go a long way to doing "cool" stuff that I'd rather work on NOW before I get the boring plumbing out of the way. Well I have successfully completed most of the plumbing now and will shortly be starting on some of the more "cooler" stuff:

The next major feature off the rank is the call scripting, which should allow more a wide range of uses from a user's imagination.