HP 17Bii

What specs and characteristics does this calculator have?





It's a second-from-top financial calculator (right below the HP19BII) and has the following characteristics beyond HP12C's related TVM most common resources (Bonds, Depreciation, IRR, NPV, Cash flow, etc):

real-time clock and calendar

Scheduler with up to ten custom-defined appointments

ALPHA messages (same HP42S ALPHA entry style)

Statistics based on lists instead of summations (good to edit)

user-selectable Algebraic / RPN mode

6.5K RAM for the user

and a few more "stuff".

I have the three of them: HP17BII, HP19BII and the HP12C. I like the HP17BII very much, but I preffer the HP19BII because of it's extended math resources (TRIGS, Hyperbolics), currency convertions and graphics.

Hope this clarifies a bit.

Luzi (Brazil)

Edited: 12 July 2003, 11:52 a.m.


Hi, Thanks for the details.
What about programability? And the equation solver, how powerful is it? what type of equations can it solve?

Thanks again



Hi, V;

The HP17BII is not exactly programmable; at least I do not see this way because its "custom" expressions do not mean "language" wiht a "sintax". It accepts algebraic expressions and has many resources that allow some "data managment". W. Bruce Maguire II wrote some very usefull expressions that allow trigonometrics and inverses to be computed. Look here and you'll have your own feelings about its "pogramming" style.

Best regards.

Luiz (Brazil)


I'd like to add that both the 17BII and the 19BII have 2 functions that area used with the solver that can turn them into something we could call semi-programable calculators. They have the IF and the (sigma) functions. Very few persons refer to these functions and it's not easy to find reference to them. You can find them in the pages of the manual that describe the functions of the solver.




Do you know if the 17bii has the functions LET ang GET as the HP27S?

Thanks in advance



Hi, Eric;

I have the HP17BII in my very hands right now and I do not see any reference in INDEX to them. Now I'm curious: what do they do in the HP27S? Are they related to variables?

I had a look at the SOLVER and I saw nothing about them. Anyway, if they are related to other subject, let me know and I'll search them again.

BTW, does the HP27S have a "programming language"? The HP17BII allows expressions and equations to be written, with a reasonable control level. As mentioned by José Ernesto, it allows IF structures and Sigma functions in expressions, and I agree with him that a "pseudo-programming" capability exists, but I do not see this resource as a "programming language", as I mentioned previously. I'm asking about this because LET and GET make sense in a programming environment; am I wrong?

Sorry not helpping further. Best reagards.

Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 13 July 2003, 10:57 p.m.


Yes the Let and Get functions are there for all three calculators, Hp17B, Hp19b, and Hp27s. Not documented in any of the owners manuals but stated in an advanced users manual (for the 19 and 27, but the 17 does have the same solver sans trig). These functions do add rudimentary programming to these models (though the solvers are really outstanding all by themselves).


Eric posted:"Luiz, Do you know if the 17bii has the functions LET ang GET as the HP27S?"

I'm not Luiz, so excuse me for not minding my own business, but I think this answers your question:

"The solver in this machine is exactly the same as that of the 19bii
and includes all 19bii functions even if not documented, including Let
and Get."

Solver Functions:

G(a) get value of a
L(a:v) assign value v to a


'I also did not know about the undocumented "L()" and "G()" (Let and Get) functions. I strongly encourage anyone who would like to program the 17BII to buy
the CD-ROMs from the HP Museum in order to obtain the "Technical Applications" book for the 27S and 19B.
The undocumented "Let" and "Get" functions are described, as well as methods of executing looping---these
functions open-up programming options that were not conceivable before! For instance: definite loops and invisible,
temporary variable assignments. Definitely a MUST READ!

Source: http://www.hpmuseum.org/cgi-sys/cgiwrap/hpmuseum/articles.cgi?read=222

Best regards from V.


Thank you all for your answers:

And yes the let and get functions allow to manage assigning values or expressions to variable names and reuse them. Togheter with sigma, solve for, and IF functions they allow pretty good capabilities of seudo-programing within the HP-27s.

What I am wondering also is if the new coming hp17bii plus is going to offer the same, if so added trigs will almost offer an hp27s replacement.

Thanks again


And heres why. Hp will keep their business line Algebraic WITHOUT precidence. And that Sucks! And because of this, even if you were to write trig routines, the calculator's algebraic enrtry system is poor. Of course the newer Bii's offer RPN selection which is the only way to go. If the 27s had been RPN selectable, it would have trounced the 32s in sales (at about the same price it should have, since it came with 7 K RAM).


Hi all;

as I mentioned, I had not seen any reference about GET and LET in the original, standard HP17BII manual. But now I know where to find them; thanks.

Valentin and other brainy guys (everyone in here?): please, if any of you have to chance to answer to any question primarily addressed to me, I'd be flattered and honored. Mostly if it is to complete some unfinished answers of mine.

Thank you all.

Luiz (Brazil)


minor point. the 17b is an exception. it has no let/get. the 17bii does though.


I did not know that. My 17Bii had and I mistakenly assumed the only change with the plain 17B was the addition of RPN selection.

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