Detecting a phone pickup

I have a 3rd. party software program that monitors remote equipment and I have developed a program to read the info gathered by this program and notify the owner via telephone using MSComm.  My question is, how do I know when the owner has picked up the phone so that I can start to send a message?

Also, for an extra 100 points, I would like to know how to transmit simulated speech over the phone line to the owner using Agent.
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1 - As far as I am aware the only way to detect a phone pickup is by using a specialised telephony card.  I have not yet found a voice modem that can do this.  Developed an application on this principal a while back and opted for a telephony card (Staria32) and this solved both points ie playing speech and detecting pickup.  Cost is around 500 - 600 GPB although there must be alternatives I found very little on the when researching the subject on the Wev
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Visual Basic Classic

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