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Weird HP-21S problem - Printable Version

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Weird HP-21S problem - bennyboy6 - 11-13-2005

Hi, I realize this forum is not for ads and I am not trying to use it as such. I ran into a weird issue while listing an HP-21S on eBay. It doesn't work right when I hold it vertically, but works fine when it's placed horizontal on a table.

Have any of you ever heard of a weird orientation issue like this?

A broken connection inside, maybe... - Karl Schneider - 11-13-2005

... such that gravity pulls a lead away from its normal point of connection?

If it isn't fixed, you should idntify the calc as non-operational. It may be worth fixing, because the 21S isn't as common as many other models.

-- KS

Re: A broken connection inside, maybe... - bennyboy6 - 11-14-2005

When I listed, I discussed this problem of course! Non-operational is a little strong, because it is partially operational. I didn't list it as "untested" like some less scurpulous people do.

Re: Weird HP-21S problem - Wayne Brown - 11-14-2005

Have any of you ever heard of a weird orientation issue like this?

I once read about an even weirder issue involving a mainframe computer. The operator complained that the computer would run flawlessly while he was in the room, but every time he returned from the bathroom he would find the mainframe had crashed while he was gone. It took a while to track down the problem, which was a faulty connection inside one of the mainframe's cabinets. That cabinet was against a wall that the computer room shared with the bathroom. When the toilet was flushed the water pipes in the wall would vibrate; that vibration was transmitted through the wall into the cabinet, causing the intermittent connection to fail and bring down the system.

The same place where I read that story had another weird one. A user reported that her user id and password would work only if she was sitting down. If she tried to log in while standing up it would give her an "invalid id or password" error. The tech support guy thought she was nuts, but he watched her logging in, and sure enough she was right. Closer inspection revealed the problem. She was a touch typist, and while sitting down she would type without looking at the keyboard. But when she was standing up she couldn't place her hands on the keyboard in their normal positions, so she would type with one or two fingers while looking at the keys. Sometime in the past someone apparently had dropped the keyboard and a couple of the keycaps had popped off, and they had been switched when they were put back on. As long as she was touch-typing she hit the right keys by habit, but when she looked at the keys she pressed a wrong one because it had the wrong label.