Hate to kick off the blog on a sad note, but it raises an interesting hacker challenge: A good friend of ours recently lost his father, and worse, he accidentally erased the last message his dad left him on his digital answering machine, an AT&T model 1820. Understandably, he's desperate to get it back, and he has disconnected the machine so that nothing would be recorded over it. So far, one data-recovery firm told us they couldn't help unless the machine used removable flash memory, which doesn't need power to hold information and from which information can usually be salvaged. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to use any kind of flash memory; we found this forum post suggesting it may be something more akin to RAM.
Anyone have any experience with this or any suggestions, we'd love to hear about them in the comments. —Mike Haney