Okay, begin geeky part of post...
I added caller ID to my phone line. It was free, since I can have up to 3 functions with my Verizon local phone package and I only had 2.
My modem supports AT#CID=1 (caller ID detection), so I'm now copying jwz and having my computer handle my incoming calls. (I have DSL. The modem is just a backup for emergencies. So far I haven't had to use it since I got my DSL-Only.com service)
Details of my setup to-be:
* All ringers off in my house.
* Computer makes the ringing noise, but only during certain hours and from known people.
* Message box pops up on desktop, showing who the call is from.
* Computer can text message my cellphone when I miss calls from certain people.
* Enty computer (stereo component) gets notifications of calls over ethernet, and flashes some LEDs to signal incoming call, as well as playing ring sound on top of music output (if any). Rationale: if watching TV, receiver isn't set to play Enty's sound output, but I'm watching TV, so I'd notice the flashing LEDs. If receiver is set to play music, I won't see the flashing LED, but I'd hear the loud ringing.
My only debate now is where to put the modem. It needs to be near a computer (one of the eight...) but also near a phone line and ethernet jack. That's where things get tricky... the only place near both phone and ethernet is in my office, but I turn my main desktop off at night for noise (can kinda hear the fan from the bedroom). But that might work: if my main computer is off, I'm sleeping. When I'm out of town, I leave the desktop on so I can login remotely.
I have up to 4 hours until the service is live.