One of the most miserable aspects of my day job is the need to occasionally investigate problems with machines scattered in remote locations all over the world that don't have network access to the outside world. Sometimes its possible for local staff to tether over a 3G or similar modem to provide access, but often thats not possible due to lack of signal or lack of technical ability on site. In these cases I have to make due with a telephone whatever local technician (or sometimes janitor) is available to work with me, typing in the commands I recite to them and responding with the output, often someone with limited or no linux or even computer experience. Often getting a more qualified technician to the site would require chartering a flight.
I can confirm that talking someone through editing a file in vi who doesn't know the difference between 'slash' and 'backslash', how to hold shift to generate a colon instead of a semicolon is excruciatingly painful. "Ok, now its showing a squiggly thing followed by a kind of weird looking line thing and then another squiggly thing". Oh, and it beeped on me with some sort of error message that I didn't read.
Basically I'm using the person on site as a very slow phone->terminal converter with an amazingly high error rate. I had the idea to cut out the middle man and using a speaker and microphone on the computer and tell the tech to just hold their cellphone up to the machine and use it as a very old-school acoustically coupled 'modem', Where I would run a terminal program on my computer which would convert my lines to some sequence of tones that could be transmitted over the phone, into the Linux machine, and be converted back into commands, the output of which would then get converted to tones, back over the phone ,etc, providing me in effect with an extremely slow terminal. There are a few methods for tranmitting data which may survive cell phone transmission, such as Morse Code or OliviaMode.
I was hoping for information on packages to accomplish this either in whole, or as various pieces that I could use to construct this solution, or provide other ideas about how I could accomplish this task. Google has turned out nothing of use, with the exception of the aforementioned 'OliviaMode' which could possibly be used as a transmission protocol.