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Hello everyone,

Firstly, thanks for all the recent help on choosing an HP.

Now that I have decided what to buy, I have found out that the supplier in UK only has HP's built in Indonesia.

Recently some of the group have warned of the poor quality of these machines - should I buy them?

Thanks very much, David


>Recently some of the group have warned
>of the poor quality >of these machines
> - should I buy them?
if the price is right;-)
For me as a collector the Indonesian HP's aren't worth too much, even if new.

But seriously, better an Indonesian HP than no HP.



Wise words, Raymond; wise words...

I've got a newish 19BII made in Indonesia. Personally I find the quality, fit & finish to be...well...perfect. Perhaps I was lucky.

I also have a 13 year old, USA made 28S (same case style as the 19B) which creaks and groans. I haven't owned the 28 from new so I can't comment on how much of that is down to wear-and-tear. The acid test will be how the 19B feels in 13 years time. I guess you can't wait that long!

Bear in mind that most people here are very picky (in a good sense) and an Indonesian made HP is still a better product than one from other manufacturers.


I don't know about the 48GX models from Indonesia, but I have a ID93... 49G. All in all, it's a nice machine, with two minor quirks:

  • the screencover scratches very easily
  • some people complain about the keyboard (rubber keys!)

The 49Gs manufactured in China reportedly improve on this, at the expense of a color finish which makes the labels besides the keys more difficult to read. See http://groups.google.com/groups?q=chinese&hl=en&meta=group%3Dcomp.sys.hp48 for more info.

Just out of curiosity: What calc did you decide for? I would have voted for getting both a 49G (it's faster, much builtin RAM, improved ROM) and a 48GX (extensible, IR port, nice keyboard).



In response to Albert's question: I chose an HP32SII for children's use in school, as graphical calc's are not allowed; and the HP48G+ for other work. I haven't ordered them yet, as I wanted to listen to the group's opinion on build quality.

I would have been very happy to buy the HP49 istead of the 48, but I think that I would be annoyed by the keyboard - although I've never actually seen either machine as I am no where near any suppliers.

I don't have a lot of experience with recent HP calc's. Ive owned an HP55 which always had keyboard problems; an HP29c which had really quite a short life, again through keyboard problems. The only HP I've got at the moment is an HP41CV which was made in Singapore in 1981. The HP41CV still works perfectly, but I have no other HP machine to act as a reserve.

I'm sad that HP are getting out of the calc business, just as I started to get interested in their more modern machines.

I always take far too long to reach buying decisions, and always expect problems with new items.

Thanks, David

Personally I think that the keyboard of the 49G is not that bad, at least when compared to the competition. The keys, while rubber, are of good quality. Some ppl have reported problems with the keys being too hard to press, or with the labels peeling off, but I never experienced this. I do prefer the "feel" of the old style keys as well, but the keyboard *layout* of the 49G is actually more effective than that of the 48 series. (With the exception of the position and size of the ENTER key, I think that most die-hard HP fans will complain about this.)

Concerning the 32sii: I don't have one, but I've been using a 32s for some ten years now, it's a nice little machine and everything that's needed for basic number crunching. In fact, it *was* everything I needed in a calculator for quite some time.

However, the 48/49 calcs are an entirely different class, they're really little computers with the convenience of a calculator interface. It's hard to come up with a mathematical problem which can't be tackled with these machines. Except for the problem scale, of course -- after all they are still calculators, not workstations. ;-)

Another big plus is that the serial interface makes it easy to manage a big program library on your PC. There also is a large and avid user community out there, and you can take advantage of the huge collection of excellent free software on http://www.hpcalc.org. Programming these calcs in RPL (a kind of functional programming language, but with HP's RPN logic) is *lots* of fun. I didn't have so much fun in programming for quite some time.

Obviously, I also regret that HP has stopped calc development. :( But let's face it: many young ppl today grow up with PCs instead of calcs, and calcs simply do not play the same role in computing any more as some 20-30 years ago, when they were the *only* affordable personal computing device. In my youth, I was an avid fan of these handheld devices, and in fact the early programmables are one major reason that I got into math and computer science. I must admit that I'm also guilty of only recently rediscovering calcs as an alternative which prevents me from having to stare at PC screens all day. I just hope that HP will eventually release the 49G ROM to the public, so that someone can pick up where they left off, and create the next RPN super calc. And that my HP calcs last at least until the day this dream comes true. :)

Hi David,

I've just bought a 32SII here in England. Apart from two minor criticisms
described here:


I'm very pleased with it. It is made in Indonesia but in the couple of weeks
I've had it it seems perfect. It is my first HP calculator.

I too am very sad to learn that HP is pulling out of calculators just as I
moved to one of theirs. I am an electronics design engineer, and the next time
I meet an HP rep I will give him/her an earful.

All the best with your new aquisitions. Edwin Russell - UK.

do i understand you in saying that the 49's reprogramable operating system could turn it into a ... well, a mega 41 with a huge screen for instance? cool. wish i was that smart.

Actually, there is a true microcode emulator for the 41C/CV/CX which runs on both the 48 and the 49G, see http://www.hpcalc.org/details.php?id=321. I haven't tried it yet, but reportedly it does everything including synthetic programming, and on a 49G it's about 90% faster than a real 41.