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At the recent HHC 2006 conference, as a door prize I chose an HP 8s scientific calculator, since they aren't available in the US.

As very inexpensive non-RPN scientific calculators go, it seems reasonable. Seeing shift key legends "A" through "F" suggested that it might offer base conversions, but apparently it does not. A though F are storage registers.

I don't like scientific calculators having different "modes". I shouldn't have to switch to a statistical "mode" in order to use statistical functions. But this is common on inexpensive calculators.

Instead of having an engineering display setting, you have to push the ENG key every time you want to see a result in engineering units. Again, this seems to be common these days.

The manual does state that it uses two CR2032 lithium cells, but does not describe how to replace them. There are six screws in the case back that must be removed. Unsurprisingly, the electronics consists of a chip under an epoxy blob.

I wonder if this is an OEM version of a calculator sold under a different brand?

Awhile back someone said that it was a Casio wanabe.

Look at this link.

http://www.voidware.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=25&Itemid=2

Once HP has a web site problem fixed, go the link below and you can click on the link to the HP8s learning modules for more information.

http://h50055.www5.hp.com/calculators/au/en/scientific/8s/

Note that you have to pick Australia to get to the HP8s page, since it is not sold in the US.