Postscript re modern technology
This morning I activated Microsoft Office on the third computer permitted by the license. Unlike the other two, this one is connected to the internet. So instead of using the telephone activation option, I clicked on the "activate your software over the internet (recommended.)" option.
Well, I can certainly see why it was recommended. Instead of having to key 56 numbers into my telephone and then type 42 numbers into the computer, activation took about five seconds with no further human intervention required.
Apparently they must be assuming that the majority of people have all their computers hooked up to the internet these days.