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what's the beef with the 17bii+? - Printable Version

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what's the beef with the 17bii+? - Les Wright - 03-17-2007

Due to goofy timing on eBay I ended up with two of these, and I can't seem to even give the extra one away.

I have been playing with it and even though I know it pales in comparison to its beloved Pioneer predecessor I really like it. It is so much easier to use than the 12C for financial and two variable statistical work, it has IR printer capability, the the display is an example of the crispness and good contrast that the 42S should have.

I know the Kinpos are generally disdained around here (even though the 50G may be winning some loyalty), but is the thing really that horrible? I have had no bites on my classified, and the reseller in my area who moves new Kinpo/HP stuff tells me he can't seem to sell these things, though the 50G and kinpo 12C and CP move like crazy.

Any ideas? I am mystified....


Re: what's the beef with the 17bii+? - Don Shepherd - 03-17-2007

Hi Les.

I think the answer is easy. The business and financial people are hooked on the 12c, that's their gold standard and, as a group, they are reluctant to change.

The hobbyists (like us) don't want to put up with the 17ii+'s funky solver. Back when I taught programming, I said that any programming language needs to support 3 structures: sequence, decision, and iteration. The solver supports the first 2, but it only supports loops that have a specific beginning and ending limit; that is, it does not support do...while. I think that is true even in the original 17bii. As such, it is not a strong programming platform.

So where is the market?

Re: what's the beef with the 17bii+? - buygm - 03-17-2007

It could be the 12C preference!

But that said...
I'm sort of in the same boat. I have a 17bii+ posting that expires today with no bites. Not even any watchers. They were pretty popular a short time ago, so I'm hoping that it maybe just that many folks are busy with the kids on spring break????

Anyway... I agree with you that the 17bii+ is very nice.

Re: what's the beef with the 17bii+? - Les Wright - 03-17-2007

That is discouraging!

I just had someone email a totally absurd lowball offer, so I am going to pull the ad, and give the thing to my partner to try to expose it to a more general eBay audience. Failing that, I will hang on to it. Heck, I am not that desperate to get rid of the thing.

Someone emailed me to suggest that the equation solver can call fewer functions than the original 17bii. I am a bit perplexed--I just looked at the table in question in the 17bii manual, and it doesn't look much different from the 17bii+ version. I really wonder if the strengths and limitations of the calculator are not properly understood.

Compared to the 12C, I just prefer everything about this thing--the alpha prompting, the menus, the cash flow lists that can be named meaningfully, the two variable statistics and regression stuff that is fairly intuitive. The IR printing is a bonus too.


Re: what's the beef with the 17bii+? - Don Shepherd - 03-17-2007

Les, I think the fewer functions *might* be the financial functions. I think I read that the original 17bii could use all of the financial functions in solver equations, but the + cannot. Since I am not interested in financial functions, I have not tried them on the +.

Re: what's the beef with the 17bii+? - bill platt - 03-17-2007

Hey Les:
I'd be happy to relieve you of the burden of an extra 17bii+.

Best regards,


Re: what's the beef with the 17bii+? - Christoph Widmer - 03-18-2007

In my opinion there might two problems:
1) The 17BII+ is actually quite expensive.
2) There are a lot of 17BII around to buy for (sometimes much) less than a 17BII+, with the added benefit of getting a Pioneer machine rather than a Chinese one.


Re: what's the beef with the 17bii+? - Bruce Bergman - 03-18-2007

Hi Les --

To be honest, I think it lacks a following, simply because people don't know much about it. I've been collecting my favorite HP calcs since 1977 and really never thought twice about it until recently when I needed a good, solid financial calc. I wanted something new (I've got a ton of old calcs) and I liked the form factor better than that of the 12c, of which I have two. I decided to just "go for it" and see what I thought.

I really like the feel and style of this calculator. Much more than I expected. And I had almost given the solver the thumbs up until Don Shepard and I started some offline conversations about what it could do, and then I found it was VERY capable. Yeah, it's got some differences from the solvers in the 17b and the 19b, but it still surpassed what I thought it could do. I really feel bad because I had severly underestimated this calc.

It is now, believe or not, one of my favorite calculators. I don't think it will ever be my MOST favorite, or have the power and flexibility of the 42s or 50g, but it is definitely in my pocked and used almost daily. That's quite a statement for a calculator that I thought wasn't worth the time of day.

I think if people gave it more of a chance, they'd be pleasantly surprised.