Octopus Systems

RISC OS Caller ID Support


Caller Display Support

Updated 18 Nov 2004

This is the support area for Acorn Caller Display users. See the main RISC OS Caller Display or Windows Caller Display pages for full details.

Caller Display is now fully compatible with the IYONIX pc. Existing users can upgrade to the 32-bit version by sending a £15 cheque payable to Octopus Systems together with their master disc. Alternatively you may send a cheque and supply your serial number and Email address for an update by Email, you can contact us on or see the contacts page for our postal address.

The Caller ID unit can be connected to either of the two IYONIX pc serial ports but note that you need to install the Internal32 block driver which can be dowloaded from http://www.xat.nl/riscos/sw/bd/bd.zip. More information on serial block drivers is available from http://www.xat.nl/en/riscos/sw/bd/index.htm

Network Caller Display

Network Caller Display is now available and shipping. It runs on any RISC OS computer with RISC OS 3 or later, including the IYONIX pc, on an Access, Access+ or TCP/IP network.

New calls are displayed on every computer on the network: each user sees the details of incoming calls as soon as a phone rings so they can decide whether to answer or whether to let a colleague answer.

Each user can search, list or update the database, and changes are immediately shown on all of the other user's screens. Several telephone lines can be monitored simultaneously by adding an additional Caller Display unit for each line.

Prices are available on our main price list.

Dial Prefix for Low Cost Operators

Several companies are now offering low cost calls by dialling a prefix before the number. For example, OneTel users dial 1877 before the telephone number to obtain a discount off the standard BT rate.To use such a service with Caller Display, open the Choices window and enter the prefix in the "Dial out prefix" box. With some services you may need to add a comma after the prefix to provide a short pause.

The "Local area code" box must be blank to use one of these services, as the area code must be dialled even with local calls.

Anonymous Call Rejection

There has been much discussion about Anonymous Call Rejection (ACR) which will enable you to automatically bar calls from withheld numbers. If you enable this service and a caller withholds their number they will hear a message telling them that you will not accept their call. They can then redial using a 1470 prefix before your number to reveal their identity.

This service is currently undergoing field trials in some BT areas and it is expected to be available soon. Contact BT for more details.

BT Engaged Message

Some BT exchanges have been updated so that a call to an engaged number results a spoken message saying "The number you have called is busy. To use ringback please press 5...". This can affect Caller Display and modem diallers which will not realise that the number is busy until they hear a busy tone (which is eventually played after the message). If you have problems with this new system you should call BT and ask them to disable the message on your line - you can still use RingBack if it is available (although it is not available on every call).

PMC Electronics

Sadly, PMC Electronics, makers of Pace voice modems, went into receivership in August 1999. Pace modem firmware upgrades, offering V.90 and possibly better Caller ID performance, are still available from http://www.infoserve.com/drivers/drivers.htm

We shall continue to develop and supply our Caller Display system using our dedicated Caller ID unit, which is unaffacted, and existing Pace modem users will continue to benefit from upgrades to our software. We also hope to find an alternative modem that supports the BT Caller Display standard.

TeleButler Home Information System

When a call is received the computer shows the caller's details on the screen and it can speak the caller's name, but to make it even more useful, it is now possible to make the caller's details appear on every TV set in your home.

This is achieved by installing a Computer Concepts Teletext card into the computer and connecting the RGB output of this card to your TV sets, either by via an RGB type SCART lead, or by using an RF modulator to mix the signal into the main UHF aerial feed which is already connected to your TV sets.

See our TeleButler Home Information System page for more details.

Finding Telephone Numbers

The directory enquiry service is now available on the Internet for finding business and residential numbers. It is also possible to search for all business of a particular type in specific area.

All of these services can be accessed from the Octopus Systems Quicka Vista page.

New Area Codes

Oftel and the phone companies have introduced new area codes to cope with increased demand and new services. This change rationalises the numbering system so the first two digits indicate the family:



International access


Existing area codes


New area codes


(future area codes)


(future use)


(future use)


(future use)


Mobile and "Find me anywhere" services


Special services


Premium services

More details are available on the offical website: www.numberchange.org and we shall be producing an update for Caller Display with all of the new area codes.

New Caller ID Messages

Some new messages have just started appearing through the BT Caller Display system. They are:

Other operator

This seems to be generated when a call is received from another network which did not provide the caller's number

CLI is Private

This seems to replace Number Withheld

So far BT deny any knowledge of the change and cannot confirm the precise meaning, so please contact us at if you discover any more details.

Incompatibility with IClear

If you use Martyn Fox's IClear utility module you may have a problem with Caller Display showing a squashed window or even crashing. This is because of a problem in earlier versions of IClear and it can be resolved by upgrading to IClear v1.30 or later.

The IClear utility enables you to clear a line of text in a dialogue box by simply double-clicking to highlight it and then typing to replace it, and it saves pressing Ctrl-U to clear it.

Pace Modem V90 Upgrade

The Pace 56k external modem may be upgraded to the new V90 standard. This may make the modem a fraction faster (I obtained 47k bps connections instead of 44k bps), but more importantly it will make your V90 compatible. This is useful since the V90 standard is set to replace the older K56Flex and X2 standards although most ISPs are expected to support all three systems for a while.

See http://www.infoserve.com/drivers/drivers.htm for details. Note that it can take a long while to complete the upgrade and you should see a series of fullstops being displayed (one every second) for a couple of hours. Do not interrupt the process at this stage as it will leave the modems memory in a corrupt state and you will need to return it to Pace for a repair! Contact Pace support if you have any difficulties (tel: 01274 537031).

If you use the ANT Internet suite with the Pace56k driver you will also need to change it as follows:

Load !InetSuite.Internet.Modems.Pace56k, and change this line:

	AT&F S95=46 +MS=56,1,32000,56000


	AT&F S95=46

You will now need to go into the configuration window and choose Pace56k again from the list (even though it may already be set).

New features in v2 software

New Calls List in Version 2

  • Improved display showing day name and year as well as date, time and line number
  • Year shown for each call
  • Distance of caller (in miles or km) shown on map
  • Extra fields for entering notes or addresses
  • Better support for using multiple Caller ID units
  • CSV file format fully compatible with Datapower
  • Wakes monitor up when a call is received (if it has powered down)
  • Uses less memory
  • Extra messages to notify other applications of call state
  • Full integration with Teletext+ to show the caller's details on your TV set, as well as on your computer
  • Drag and drop of the name or number into other windows
  • Powertips window shows useful hints whenever Caller Display starts up
  • Improved interactive Help
  • Dial out prefix and local area code can be entered in Choices
  • Dialling out via a modem (any modem)
  • Graphs show call statistics for each day
  • Ctrl-Tab hotkey to dial number or find a name

and when used with the new version 2 hardware unit:

  • Outgoing calls displayed as they are dialled
  • Outgoing calls logged (even if dialled from another telephone extension)
  • Call duration recorded for incoming and outgoing calls (see above example)
  • Shows whether each incoming call was answered

When used with a Pace modem:

  • Outgoing calls logged (when dialled through modem)
  • Call duration recorded for incoming and outgoing calls
  • Shows whether call was answered (incoming and outgoing calls)

New Call Window has Map, Area, List and Dial Buttons

Upgrading from Version 1

If you have Caller Display version 1 you can upgrade to version 2 software for £35 inc VAT and P&P. This new software works with your existing Caller ID unit and offers all the features described in the above v2 software list but not the logging of outgoing calls or call duration.

Alternatively you can buy the full Caller Display 2 system with new Caller ID unit for £129. This price includes VAT and P&P but regrettably we cannot offer a trade-in scheme (although you should be able to sell the original unit privately).

In all cases the new software will work with your existing directory and calls list so you will not lose any information. It will even add the correct year to your existing Calls list. We would also strongly recommend buying Jonathan Duddington's Speak software which enables Caller Display to verbally announce the caller when the phone rings.

To order the upgrade or a new unit just send a cheque payable to Octopus Systems. Version 2 is available now and all items are in stock. See the main Caller Display page for more details and prices.

BT Telephone Bills Online

BT telephone bills can now be downloaded from www.bt.com. You need to register on the site, and then choose the appropriate option under the View My Bills section. It allows you to download any of your last 3 bills in an itemised csv file in format:


It is apparently quite slow and a bit unreliable but worth trying.

Datapower 2 Update

Datapower 2, v2.19 and later versions, has a facility which enables external scripts to search for particular records. This means that a Datapower 2 query can be run when the telephone rings, and Datapower will then open the relevant customer record.

To do this requires a little programming knowledge at the moment. When the telephone rings CallerID will attempt to run the !CallerID.NewCall (if it exists). A small BASIC program can be written to generate a Datapower 2 query script and execute it. In turn Datapower 2 will load the relevant database and perform the search.

Please note, at this stage we cannot provide any more details about the Datapower script language, but see the details on this page: DataPower 2 Script Documentation.

Please let us know if you use this facility.

Pace Modems with Voyager

To use the Pace 56k voice modem properly with Voyager you need a new driver which is available from us at (we will put it on the web site soon). You can use the Pace MobiFax driver but Caller Display will not work correctly after it has been used. The new driver solves this problem completely.

Many thanks to Roger King for his help in solving this problem.

Computer Freezes when Phone Rings

A handful of users have reported that their computer freezes when the phone rings. This appears to be due to a problem in some SCSI/CDFS implementations which do not support the CDFS Stop command.

You can easily test your system by typing this command into a task window:

It should stop a music CD if one is playing, otherwise it should do nothing and it should return immediately (without starting up the CD drive).

If you have this problem, it can easily be overcome by turning off the option to "Mute Audio CD" in Caller ID Choices.

Improving the Line Quality

When using the Pace modem for the Internet it typically connects at 44k or 46k and you can see this in the CONNECT message in the ANT Logging Status window if you are using the ANT Internet Suite. If you obtain connections of around 31k or 33k it is because you are not using a K56Flex number and you need to ask your ISP for a different modem number to dial. If you achieve speeds of around 40k you are using the correct number but suffering from poor line quality. If you call your telephone company (154 for BT) and explain that you are using a 56k modem they may be able to improve your line quality or boost the gain balance which may improve the situation.

Speak the Name

Caller Display can be made to speak the caller's name using Jonathan Duddington's excellent Speak software. Many users find this invaluable as it anounces the caller's name just after the first two rings and it is surprisingly intelligible even when pronouncing unusual surnames (and I should know). It is especially useful when you are away from the computer and if used with some small external speakers it can easily be heard throughout your house or office.

Using a Caller ID Unit on an A300 or A400

The Caller ID unit takes its power from the computer's serial port and it needs around +7V on the DTR or RTS line (it draws around 4mA). Old Acorn computers such as the A300 and A400 only generate around +5 or +6V on the serial port which is insufficient, so we normally recommend fitting an Atomwide triple serial port card to these machines (alternatively a Pace modem could be used).

However, it is still possible to use a Caller ID unit on an old computer providing the power is supplied from another source. You can either take the power from the +12V supply within the computer or use an external source such as a 9V battery or a small mains power supply. You will need to modify the wiring from the Caller ID unit so that the computer's RXD and ground lines are still connected to the unit, but the DTR line (pin 4) and RTS line (pin 7) must both be disconnected from the computer and connected to a power supply voltage between +8 and +12V.

Please note that we cannot accept responsibility for any damage caused to the computer or the Caller ID unit as a result of this modification, but we will do our best to advise.

LEDs on the Caller ID Unit

Our newer Caller ID units have two LEDs although the manual refers to a single LED. If everything is working you can ignore the LEDs, but if you have any problems, the LEDs should help you find out whats wrong:

When the unit is plugged in and CallerID software is running the red LED should light. If it doesn't and you are using an Atomwide triple serial port card check the Caller ID configuration to ensure that you have set it for the port that you are using. If it still doesn't light try the standard port and if that fails please contact us at or see the contacts page for our phone number and postal address.

When a call is received:

  1. Red LED should go out briefly (before the first ring)
  2. Green LED should flicker as Caller ID data is received (before the first ring)
  3. Red LED should go out in time with each ring

If the red LED doesn't go out before the first ring and the green LED doesn't flicker no Caller ID information is being received and you should check with your telephone company that Caller ID has been enabled on the line.

Dialling Telephone Numbers

The telephone number dialling facility should work well on a Risc PC using the internal speaker. If you find that dialling is unreliable try reducing the speaker volume slightly so that it isn't distorting and try again. You can reduce the internal speaker volume using the Acorn Configure utility (inside Apps on old computers, or double-click on !Boot on Risc PC and A700 computers). You can easily test it by dialling your own telephone number which should of course be engaged.

Multi-Line Users

If you use more than one line for incoming phone calls you need a Caller Display unit for each line, and each unit will need its own serial port. The software will then monitor all of the ports simultaneously and even tell you which line the call was on.

If you wish to monitor more than four lines we can supply a six line version which can be daisy-chained to allow up to 24 lines to be monitored by a single computer using a single serial port.

BT Call Minder Service

The new BT Call Minder service provides an answering machine facility in the BT exchange. It can answer calls when you are out or even when you are busy on another line, but disappointingly it will not store the caller's number for calls that it answers. It is likely that BT will fix this in the future, but until then you're better off with an answering machine.

UK Telecoms Information on the Internet

For more information about UK Telecoms refer to the uk.telecom newsgroup or the FAQ on:

Caller ID Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Page answering frequently asked questions on UK Caller ID is at http://www.ainslie.org.uk/callerid/cli_faq.htm
uk.telecom FAQ
The UK Telecom Frequently Asked Questions list is at http://www.gbnet.net/net/uk-telecom/
UK Phone Info
Useful information, including a list of area codes is at http://www.ukphoneinfo.com/section/home/introduction.shtml
OFTEL - regulator for the UK telecoms industry
OFTEL is responsible for area code changes and it has some useful information on its web site, including:


See our prices page for futher details of prices and how to order.

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