if i didn't suck, i could answer that with: as soon as i get myself to learn electronics and convert the phones in my room into cool projects

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@anne what if this but using a p2p protocol instead of gsm...
it could add to the low-tech vibe of the thing (although it would probably need beefier hardware, like an actual SOC with Linux and whatnot. so maybe I'll just stick to trying to make one of these into a (USB?) peripheral)

VoIP, even with solid encryption, is not very heavyweight. I wrote a program that did it fine in python on a circa-2003 PC. Open VoIP programs usually plan on a graphical UI but you could make do with buttons or use Sphinx for voice control (though that is heavier, but people do it on a Pi).

You could even stick in a cellular module for use in data mode, if the latency were manageable.

@anne hmmm.... so one would have to reimplement the protocol either in hardware or on a super low power CPU?

Hmm. You're going to want Datagram TLS and/or SRTP, and those are a bit heavy for a microcontroller. (And existing implementations might be proprietary.)

On the other hand, careful work on a microcontroller might add robustness to unpredictable lags. Real-time programming there has teeth.

Whoa I love the idea of pulling out a metal retro phone and saying "hey Tux what's the atomic mass of xenon?"

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