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Why do all the references I see on this board to the serial number start with a CNA......

Mine looks clearly like CN404.... (the 3rd and 5th character are clearly the same).

What is the serial number pattern?

Lastly, what does that imply in regard to the discussion of bugs, particularly in algebraic mode?

(my $0.02....the algebraic mode is pure blasphemy anyway)

I couldn't agree more.

All the memory/CPU space taken up by the ALG mode "capabilities" could have been used to add additional functionality or programmability for RPN users.

Take care.


PS - If two of us agree, does that make it $0.04 ?

PPS - I believe CN means China (place of manufacture). I'm not 100% sure what the numbers mean, but I think the 404... machines are from the first "run" which were sold through Walmart.com in late-February/March 2004; the 414... machines appear to be from the second "run", which arrived mid to late April; just in time for a lot of the NCEES test takers to not be able to get ahold of one for the test... or something like that.

Probably true, Wayne.

Question is:

How many units would HP sell if RPN only?


How many if RPN and algebraic?

Apparently, they have come to the conclusion that algebraic is what will sell, but at least they still include RPN.

We'll see what the market does.

That is a good point, Gene. I suppose I should just be happy there is still a good, functional, reasonably powerful calculator available with RPN capabilities. HP has to be able to sell them; and there's no law that says I HAVE to use ALG mode.

I do like the 33S, but I just can't help thinking about the wasted opportunity to provide the RPN "hard core" with a TRULY memorable machine.

At least it's in RPN mode when you turn it on fresh out of the package!

Take care.


I too hope for an HP43S-like calculator some day. No, that's not "insider" information, but a wish.

If there ever is such a beast, I'm 99% sure it will also have algebraic as a mode too.


P.S. However (heresy), there are a FEW things that are easier in algebraic, e.g., complex numbers are easier in many ways on the 33S in algebraic than RPN since you can only have 2 complex numbers on the 33S stack at once. RPN loses quite a bit of efficiency with only a 2-level stack.

My first batch "Walmart" unit is also CN404....

It appears that the first batch used the “ccywwnnnnn” serial number format, where:

cc = country of manufacture (CN for China)

y = year of manufacture after 2000

ww = approximate week of manufacture (I have always postulated that this was the week that the first units of a production were made, then they stuck with it until they made 99999 units, at which point they incremented the week code to the then current week. I have no proof, just a theory.)

nnnnn = 00001 to 99999 sequential count of units in that production run.

The second batch of units seem to have adopted a new serial number format of "ccAywwnnnnn" where:

cc = same as above

y = same as above

A = ? (I believe it has been postulated that this would indicate the decade of manufacture in the 21st century, but it seems like it would have been better to go back to a two digit year code)

ww = same as above

nnnnn = same as above

I don't have any thoughts or theories on the bugs.

Edited: 20 May 2004, 12:56 p.m.