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Full Version: Trying to find a new calc - which would be best for me?
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I am deeply saddened by the unfortunate death of my HP-25C. I will continue to attempt to bring him back to life, however, but until that happens (or if I can't fix it), I need a new calculator. Previously, I had been using my trusty and well worn Casio fx-65 or my TI-83+. After my rather brief accquaintance with the wonderful world of RPN, I find these calculators clumsy, poorly designed, and slow. Also, after an experiance with the crystal clarity of the LED display on my 25C, I find myself straining to read the liquid crystal displays on my other calculators. I would like everyone's suggestions on the best calculator for me, based on what I like:
1. It MUST have RPN!
2. It MUST have an LED display (I don't care that it eats batteries)
3. I need all of the scientific functions provided by the 25
4. I like the form factor and the keypad of the 25C.
5. I have very little money - I need a calculator that I can afford on a high school student's income (roughly $0 a week minus gas money)
6. Squarish, 70's style casing and heavy are also a plus. I really love the sturdy, built to be able to run after a nuclear detonation feel of the 25, and I like a heavy calulator (don't ask why, it's hard to explain. I also like heavy phone recievers, I took mine apart and added weight. I think I just like the solid feel)
7. Programmability and a continuous memory are also important to me. I had a program (very simple, I know) that took the y register and took it to the x register root that I used daily. (i.e. y^(1/x))
8. RPN and intimidating numbers of buttons are also a plus. I loved being asked "Can I borrow your calculator" then, after handing it to them, getting it back a minute later with "I can't figure out how to work it, I'll just do it on paper" I never had to worry about someone borrowing my calculator when I needed to use it.
9. It MUST have plastic buttons!!! I HATE rubber buttons. I used to have a cheapie TI scientific (I think I got it at a yard sale for a buck) that survived a whole week with me before getting hurled against the wall. I could never get anything to register! Surprisingly, it still worked, with only a small scratch on the corner. I think I gave it to the next person that asked "Can I borrow your calculator?"
10. Another calculator that uses woodstock battery packs would be a big plus, as I have found a battery pack and charger now, but I don't have a working calculator.

Any ideas/suggestions on what HP would be a good choice for my uses would greatly be appreciated. I don't want to spend a minto on a new calculator, but I hope to find one cheaply seeming as though physical condidtion is not that important. Missing labels/worn off logos don't matter to me. Actually, finding another HP-25C that works only with a bad case/keyboard/LED display would be fine, because those all should still work on mine, and I can combine parts. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Ian Primus

Hi, Ian;

I guess I`m somewhat far from you (anyway, where are you?), so I cannot tell you HOW to get your calculator; instead, I`m gonna point some options: (the links point to the museum pages)


HP67 and HP97

I believe these are the ones that get closer to your needs. Others are older than the HP25 itself, others have LCD, and others will be hard to find. Among these ones, some are also difficult to find AND expensive. The one that`s closest to the HP25 is the HP29C, being the (beautifull) HP19C its buitl-in-priter version.

Well, now to the chase... Good luck.

Well, if you want a machine with exactly the same features as the 25C, then you want to get another 25C :-). There's also the 29C, which is the same case design, but with more program steps, and IIRC the ability to use subroutines. Either of those would be ideal for you.
Other machines to consider as they have most of the features you are looking for are :
HP19C (if you can find one -- these tend to be rare) -- an HP29C with a built-in tiny printer. It uses a different battery pack and charger to the Woodstock family, though.
HP33C or HP34C. These are a later series of machines (Spice) and IMHO they're not as well made as the Woodstocks. But the 33C has roughly the same feautres as the 25C, the 34C has rather more. Again the battery pack and charger are different.
HP67 -- a 'classic style' case, but with woodstock like electronics inside. Again, different battery and charger. This one doesn't have continuous memory, but it does have a built-in magnetic card
reader. I find that more useful than continuous memory
HP97 -- the printing version of the 67. A nice machine with a wonderfully clear display, but probably too large for you.
All of those are RPN, all are programmable.

ian; i know why you want another woodstock, i just love my 21 but all of the above suggestions are collectors items; rare and expensive unless you get lucky. before you go the ebay greed-is-good route you might look at the 32SII. if the 25 served you then the 32 will be even better. it's lcd screen is not all that bad and is adjustable, it's reliable as a brick, and it is a v a i l a b l e. and remember that it's christmas; parrents or grandparrents may spring for a high school students calculator, leaving your money to be spent on whats really important in life.

If you want a reliable calculator with all the features that the 25C get the HP32II. It's easy to program, has more features than the 25 C and fits nicely in your pocket. It is a great example of what an engineering calculator should be: Full featured and intuitive. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it

I could not agree more.

When we were looking for a calc for my wife when she returned to uni we could not afford tjhe 48 or 49 so we bought a 32SII which appeared to be the most suitable choice.

I am glad because as a straight RPN calculator the 32SII is brilliant. Far easier to use than the 48/49 as good as they are.