A note. I was informed that the phrasing of the post was as stated by my informer, "mean". That was not my intent. It really should have been an essay on the consequences of adopting technology in a peace wise manner. The collection of phones is just the best example of that. My folks and for that mater the local infrastructure have been adopting technology in a peace wise manner. That is in contrast to my self who has done that to a much smaller extent only because of my youth and the fact that most of the tech in this conversation existed by the time I left home.
In that light its only natural that a communications solution would be interesting, In this case features were added, as I said peace wise. At any given moment in time no one device was able of meeting the system needs. Choices built around cost have lead to a system that now has three phones, all with there own specialty. The answering machine the cordless and the call display all live in the same area and all have moved in to fill a need as things happened. Perhaps in the future there will be a brick to replace the answering machine once we get voice mail in the area. I got the brick idea from a stand up comedian. Till then I will watch and see how the set up evolves. And I will always flinch when three phones with different ringers go off just slightly out of sync.