As is well-known, Tom DeLay burned out some critical neurons as an exterminator, driven over the edge by government safety regulations. I have a little more sympathy for his descent into darkness (this increment is added to a really small base) having come upon the following batch of paperwork, included with a new portable external DVD/CD drive:
A 4″x5″ “Quick Start” leaflet of four pages, two bearing content in the form of four instructions: put in the battery, plug in the USB cable, plug in the power adapter, connect to the computer.
A 5″x 6″ booklet called “Three (3) Year Limited Warranty”, containing ten (10) pages each in English (Inglés) and Español (Spanish) of legalese, MUCH OF IT IN ALL CAPS.
A 4″x5″ “A Guide to Using Toshiba Products: Please Read First”, six (6) pages that say to read itself, and then that the warranty is what it says in the warranty booklet, and to follow the instructions. Really.
A 5″x7″ booklet, “Instruction Manual for Safety and Comfort”, nineteen (19) pages of useful and surprising goodies like “Never insert more than one CD or DVD at a time” and “…never allow heavy objects to drop onto the DVD SuperMulti Drive, to protect it from damage”. This volume of course has no instructions about how to play or burn a CD or DVD.
[Ruthless costcutting and the usual corporate disregard for the customer’s welfare forced the omission of really important stuff like “Do not operate a vehicle transporting the DVD SuperMulti Drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol” or “Do not eat the DVD SuperMulti Drive” or “Do not attempt to record on slices of mortadella or read data from a doily with the DVD SuperMulti Drive”. Not even “Do not swing the power adapter around and around by its power cord and whack anyone with it”. These omissions may lead to enormous judgments against Toshiba. In fact, I have a mind to sue them right away, because this carelesness obviously puts the company’s survival, hence my three (3) year limited warranty, at risk…]
The pearl of this useful document, however, is right on the cover, prominent and emphasized:
Warning: Handling the cord on this product will expose you to lead, a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. Wash hands after handling.
Update: more [than you wanted to know?] about lead and plastic here.