Technology trouble, gadget griefs

Purchase notice: Congratulations on your purchase of a new personal digital Tchotchke. We know it will provide you with many years of happy, carefree Web surfing, reading, game playing, music consumption and just plain fun! To get started, just plug the included power cord into slot A (see diagram), wait two hours, push the power button, navigate through the set-up screens to set up an account on our Web site, register your new product and then commence enjoyment!

Warranty notice one: Recent complaints have made us aware that some Tchotchke boxes were empty when shipped. If you believe your shipment may have been among those affected, please check the box again carefully and, if no Tchotchke is found, mail the box back to us. We’ll be happy to send you a replacement.

Notice two: It has come to our attention that some consumer elements believe their Tchotchkes are susceptible to spam infiltration under what are described as normal operating conditions. None of our researchers can duplicate the conditions under which that sort of material can find its way onto the Tchotchke unrequested, so if a user finds himself with unwanted smut, we suggest he reconsider the definition of “unwanted.”

Notice three: Though we are flattered by the belief held by some users that the Tchotchke can run more than one application at once, we must regretfully say that it, like you, was designed to do only one thing at a time. That information is contained in sub-appendix Q of Instruction Manual Three, and we must request that before you pick up the phone and complain to us after you read the instruction manuals and their appendices thoroughly first.

Press release: The slogan for the Tchotchke is “It does it all” not “It does it all at once.” While some consumers may have misinterpreted the meaning of the slogan, the fault for that misinterpretation lies with them. If consumers find the Tchotchke difficult to use and/or if it ceases to function properly while in their hands, it is and can only be their fault.

Andrew Hamner is a senior majoring in political science. He may be contacted at