Thanks for the replies Ron & Jim. I think you are talking about more advanced recorders. To give you an idea, it looks like a memory stick you would put into your USB port but it has a microphone and a small throw switch on. The switch is the only control- on to record and off when you're finished. I presume when you plug it in to the computer you get either one file you can double click with all your messages or you get a number of files for each recording. Don't know if I 'm allowed to link to the kind of thing I mean but here goes anyway...
I might just get one anyway and post a review as they're fairly cheap.