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I have two 17-b's made in the US in consecutive weeks during 1988:

Serial # 2816A06305  -  no language choice in MODES, self-test OK-17B-E
Serial # 2815A91640 - choice of languages in MODES, self-test OK-17B-I

So I'm thinking that if the first digit of the serial number (after the YYWWC portion) is 0, that corresponds to a unit sold in the US, and if the digit is 9, that corresponds to a unit sold outside the US (and so it has the language selections).

Can anyone confirm this?

Edited: 26 Nov 2011, 10:36 p.m. after one or more responses were posted


Yeah, you're right db, I keep goofing that. Thanks, I changed the original post to reflect this.

I've an international 17bii with serial # 3112S04389

Thanks Marcus.

I've got 3 non-language-selection Singapore units that begin (the serial # part) with S3, so maybe the Singapore factory uses 3 for English-only units and 0 for international units.

Or maybe not. I guess only HP knows (or knew).

Maybe the 17Bii and the 17B are different in this respect. Does there exist an English only 17Bii?

Does there exist an English only 17Bii?

Oh yeah. I have about 4 17bii's and they are all English-only (that is, no language selection from the MODES key). They are from Singapore and Indonesia, and the serial # (after YYWWC) starts with 0.

The 17BII that I have handy is 3015S01247.

Singapore, but not international, if "international" means it has the language option in the Modes menu.

Thanks Ken. So yours is S0 and without language selection, and Marcus' is S0 with language selection. Marcus, can you verify that when you do the self-test, you get OK-17B-I?

I get OK-17B-II-I? The language selection pops up after a power failure (the batteries were flat so I saw it.)

Thanks Marcus. I'm thinking that the "I" at the end of the message means "international unit", as opposed to the usual "E" for English-only units. So you should have the language selection options from the MODE key, correct?

Yes, MODE offers INTL.