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Full Version: Wish list for the 33SII (long)
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First, let me say that I love my 33S. It is the best scientific available, and I find it very useful. That said, we all know it needs some improvement

Here is what I think the 33SII, if there ever is such a beast, should include.

1. Fix the bugs from the 33S

2. Fix the display

3. Allow GTO.Label Line number to be used as a program instruction.

4. Allow indirect addressing of registers beyond 33, dynamically allocated, of course.

5. Allow use of left, right and insertion in the equation editor.

6. Add FC? (do if flag is clear) as a test in the flags menu.

7. Move the unit conversions (not including the rect, polar conversions) to their own menu, say a shifted function of the Display key, call it CONV. Also, add the unit conversions we have come to expect from simpler scientifics like the Sharp EL-506 series. While we're at it, add a few things to the CONST menu, like the number of meters in an AU(astronomical unit) and the number of kilograms in a Solar Mass.

7. Add bit manipulation functions like AND, OR, NOT, and XOR where the unit conversions are now.

8. Add numerical differentiation.

9. Allow more operations that make sense in context but currently don't work, like squaring a binary integer and taking the square root of a complex number.

10. Keep the color scheme and the aluminum bezel, but can I hear you all say *Go back to the rectangular key layout*? Thank you.

11. There's still room for three more commands where the conversions were. I'm sure we can dream up something to put there. For instance, many would like to see matrix manipulaion as a standard functionality.

Well, that's what I want. I don't think most of these changes would take much to implement, with the exceptions being the key layout and posibly matrix operations. But, even if they just did 3, 4, 5, and 6, we would have a very powerful calculator that could easily take advantage of 32K or 64K of memory.

Honestly, I don't think we would need more labels if we could GTO to line numbers. I like being able to run programs with only two keystrokes. And if we could indirectly address registers up to the limits of memory, we could write our own matrix manipulation routines, even complex ones.

As far as key placement goes, those of us who use 48's know how to use the SPACE key on it, and can make the transition easily. Also, the new position of the R/S key is good when in SOLVE mode.

All in all, it wouldn't take much to turn the good 33S into a great 33SII.

Does anyone have any other entries for the wish list? :-)

No disagreement here with any of these suggestions. However, there is one additional modification that may be critical to the future success of the 33S: it needs to be priced lower. In the long run, it may not succeed at a $50-60 price point.

What is the current competition for the 33S? Well, the 33S is particularly popular with NCEES exam candidates. Other choices that are often recommended in the exam forums are the Casio FX-115 MS PLUS and the HP-9G. These alternatives are much less expensive than a 33S (Casio is $14.95 from Amazon.com; HP-9G is $29.99 from HP.com).

Granted, the 33S has some important advantages that the others lack: RPN of course, and greater programmability. Many professional engineers and scientists are willing to pay extra for these features, especially since the 48 and 49 were banned on licensing exams.

But the 33S is clearly targeted at the education market (hence the "cool" cell-phone look). Most students are not going to pay two or three times the going rate for a scientific calculator just to get RPN (which they don't understand) and programming (which they don't do).

The 33S is not going to succeed in the education market -- despite its obvious coolness -- unless it is priced more competitively. And if it doesn't sell to students, its survival will be in jeopardy, because the professional market is relatively small. There has been high demand for the 33S in the NCEES exam market, but the demand will crash as soon as all of the old 48s and 49s are replaced.

If HP *really* wants to get back on top they need to make an investment. Price the 33s to compete with the high-end TI scientifics. Advertise the living bejesus out of RPN like it's a new technology that allows one to enter complex calculations without parentheses. They can't get away with a $50 price point without making a sleek black rectangle to demand it.

To get back to business HP should release a numerical only hp 39g+, the hp 37g+.
What I mean is: strip away symbolics!
No symbolic solve, only ROOT
No symbolic Integration, only numeric
No symbolic Differentation, only numeric
Increasing plotting functions to the max.
The ROM should be in Flash, so bugs can be ironed out
and even new features introduced.
That price should be clearly below 99 euros/dollars.

I like all of Bill's suggestions for an HP33SII. One minor improvement that I would like to see on it (or even on just a bug-fixed 33S) would be changing the "x" in the Clear menu to "Stk". I miss the stack-clearing "Clear" command of the RPL models like the 48/49 and I don't see why the 33S has to have three distinct ways of clearing only the X register!



My wish list (I haven't got 33s, only 32sii):

1.) All functions let be two, three or four character long-
named, like 'SIN()', 'COS()', etc... Forget '1/x, x2,...'

2.) Add a list for user definied functions, like EQN-LIST:
forexample cotangent function: 'CTG(var)=INV(TAN(var))' or

3.) RPN-like EQN list: for cotangent function: 'var CTG :
var TAN INV'

4.) Multiple integrals

4a.) Integrals with infinity limits ;)

5.) SOLVE and INTEGRATE at same time

5a.) Multiple SOLVE for optimisation, like least squares methods

5b.) New curve fitting formulas: linear with b=0, or fixed
m, or fixed b; quadratic; z=z(x,y) like, etc...

6.) Built in UTPN, and other statistical integrals and functions

7.) All of complex-functions

8.) IR-port and 'memory scan-editor' like on 17BII

9.) Pixel graphic (131x15 - GREAT!!!)

10.) Two character long varable-names 'AA, AB, ..., ZZ' or

11.) One character and one number variable-names 'A0, A1, ..., Z9'

12.) etc...

Best wishes!


1. Full complex number support: be able to take square roots of negative numbers for example.

2. "Clear Stack" button.

3. String functions: using messages as equations is just too funky.

4. Numeric differentation

5. Numeric summation

6. Numeric product; product(eqn,low,high)

Hi Mark:

The clear x is very important----but only for progamming. You need it for programming a "clear x" condition. Clearing the stack can be easily accomplished with 0 ENTER ENTER ENTER, which you can also program if you like.



Edited: 25 May 2004, 1:16 p.m.

I hadn't thought of doing it that way. It's better & a full 3 steps (42.86%) shorter than the stack clearing program which I assigned to LBL C (for clear), which goes: CLx, Roll Down, CLx, Roll Down, CLx, Roll Down, CLx.

Although, with all that memory, I guess it doesn't matter that much, does it?

Still, thanks bill platt for showing me a better way.

Take care.


How about CLST instead? That clears X, Y, Z and T in a single operation, and can be assigned to a key or used in a program. (Or is that a 41C-only command?)

Hmm... what about a 42S Platinum? :-)

Erik Ehrling (Sweden)

That is only for the HP41 series, and I believe the 42s.

As far as I know, there is no way to invoke a Clear Stack command on a 33S (or a 32S or 32SII either, for that matter).

Take care.


Would this be to make it legal in some country/jurisdiction for taking school tests? Somewhere where symbolics aren't allowed?

I suggest that to make such a beast economically viable, HP should make the calculator thin enough for a pocket, and price it for the same market niche as TI's now defunct TI-80.

This is nice, but WHY CLEAR THE STACK ???

And in the first place, what is 'cleaner' in a display of 0 as compared to for instance -3.2355344E-06 ??
It's always a good laugh to read (usually old 4-bangers') manuals stating with great care how to 'clear' a register : by storing zero in it ! (P.S. : yes, I've heard of ST+ NN)

If I want to use a zero, I usually press that key down there (and if you think of it, the constant zero is very seldom used anyway).

If there is something on the stack that I don't use, why bother if it is zero or not ?

Let's free ourselves from the zero-tyranny !

It's a nice feature when your're doing some tedious programing.


Hi GE,

I agree---except in fairly rare circumstances, I never feel the need to clear the stack--for the very reasons you mention.

One of my favorite first reactions to HP machines--and my reply---is, "how do you clear it?" to which I reply, "you don't need to; just start calculating." The visible consternation is priceless. Then they look for the equals sign.....

Best regards,


If there is something on the stack that I don't use, why bother if it is zero or not ?

If you make a mistake (like hitting an operator key once too often) then having zeros in the stack levels immediately above your calculations can be useful. Some operations (like addition and subtraction) have no effect with zero, while others (like multiplication and division) give very obvious errors with zero. For instance, if I accidentally multiplied 4832564.23565 by 0.1 I might not notice the difference, but I certainly would notice if I multiplied it by 0. So I'd rather not have any non-zero numbers on the stack that aren't part of whatever I'm doing at the time.

Yeah I agree with you about the HP-33S, HP should go back to the regular straight keyboard layout instead of that wacky "chevron" layout. They should be able to make a calculator look modern without making it look weird. Take the new Texas Instruments TI-36X Solar, for example, it sports a silver case just like the HP-33S, but it has oval shaped buttons in a regular straight layout, far more attractive than the dorky chevron design used in the 33S. C'mon HP, you can do better!

Am about to start on a set of about 20 programs for land and engineering survey calcs for the 33S. They should total 2/3000 steps. Because of no 33S data comms port steps must be limited. One has fair amount of experience with 41C, 42S and 32SII but it mystifies me how to use only 27 labels as addresses when 20 will be needed as global labels leaving 7 for local labels. If steps cannot be addressed by GTO or XEQ commands, how are numerous subroutines addressed? You would expect with 31K of space that the addressing system would match it. Guess one should start and find out but if someone has written a suite like this or individual longer programs I would be glad to share the experience. Glad to pass on a copy of the finished suite in return.

Just DROP me a LETTER.
Basically I would not worry about any subroutines.
Write everything reasonable inline.
You have >30KB memory, but <30 labels.

One ugly way to conserve labels on the 33S is to avoid using them at the beginning of programs. With this approach, you don't use XEQ [label] to launch a given program -- instead, you use GTO . [line number] to move the program pointer, followed by R/S to start the program.

For example, start your first program at line A0000, the second program at line A0100, the third at line A0200, etc. Fill in any extra lines between programs with RTN statements.

Then you can launch program 1 with GTO . A0000 R/S, program 2 with GTO . A0100 R/S, program 3 with GTO . A0300 R/S, etc.

By the way, there is already a package of 33S surveying programs in commercial distribution. Search for "33S COGO" on eBay. It's about 5K in size and costs $33.

Thanks great tips. Where there's a will there's a way.

Thanks - was starting to think that way. Also a great tip is to start program with GOTO step number to conserve labels.