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Virtual Voice Mail

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"Hello. This is Gina. I'm online right now, but if you leave a message, I'll get back to you." That's what you'll hear if you call me while I'm on the Web. Right now, I have only one phone line — so, until recently, being online meant being out of reach by phone. Not anymore, thanks to Pagoo Call Catcher, a service from Whenever someone leaves a message, Pagoo turns it into a file, compresses it, and sends it to my computer. I can be notified through the Pagoo Player (which I keep open on my desktop), by email, or by pager.

Setting up Call Catcher was easy. I visited Pagoo's Web site (, answered a few questions about my local telephone service, and downloaded the Pagoo software.

I've been using the email-notification option. No more than 15 seconds after someone calls me, I get an email telling me that I have a voice message in my Pagoo mailbox. To retrieve the message, I simply click on the embedded link. The service is great — and also cheap ($4.95 per month for 6 months, or $3.95 per month for 12 months).

Curious about the name? Pagoo's founders, who are French, were frustrated by not being able to reach people who were on the Net. Their response: "I need a way to page you." Say "page you" with a French accent, and you get Pagoo. Voila!

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