We recently got some troubling news from Matt in Sacramento, California: his Cave Johnson Talking Portrait blew a chip when the batteries were inserted backwards.
He was even kind enough to send us some pictures:
While that might be the response you'd expect from Mr. Johnson, it's not something we wanted to happen with our portrait. And unfortunately our customer service response was less than stellar, so it was later in the day before our GeekLabs techs scrambled to find a frame at ThinkGeek HQ. They sacrificed our marketing monkey's portrait--the one he'd bought for his kids--and found a build problem on the main circuit board.
It's pretty basic: if the batteries are installed backwards in the frame, a small microchip in the board will short, rendering the Cave Johnson portrait inoperable and unable to produce sound. In these cases, the chip may make a popping sound and generate a slight burning smell.
The bad news is that this defect will destroy the chip in question and subtract the "Talking" part from the item's description, but the good news is that the rest of the portrait is unaffected and there is no danger of fire. This is not the lemon that will burn your house down; that one's still in development.
We're working on getting this issue fixed with future Cave Johnson Talking Portraits and properly labeling the boxes with battery instructions (like above), but if you were one of the lucky test subjects to snag one early on and experience any trouble, please give us a call at 1-888-GEEKSTUFF. We will be happy to refund your purchase or supply one of the corrected Cave Johnson Talking Portraits as soon as they are available.
We apologize for the error in the circuit board; a mistake like this is no small thing, and we know it's bad timing what with the holidays looming ever nearer. Many thanks to Matt who carefully documented the issue, making it easy for us to get to the root of the problem.
Mr. Johnson would respect that kind of dedication, and unlike Aperture, we actually do prefer a little hand-holding when it comes to science. But don't eat the Conversion Gel--that's still a bad idea.