eBay bargains

I've been ignoring eBay silliness of late, but I had to post this one.


Yeah, right, $500 for a used 41C with no case or manual. This is about the best a job of distorting facts as I've seen lately. But then we are approaching election day so perhaps this ad copy was written by a political speech writer.

Such a deal we've got for you...

Notice the the bottom photo is a gold border halfnut and the top photos are a silver C fullnut. I wonder which unit is for sale. Then there is the number of feedbacks of both buyer and seller... humm.

My latest eBay calculator lie: "Looks like it just came out of the box". Translation: It just came out of the 50 lb box of 10 penny nails that has been bouncing around in the back of Buba's truck for six months.


Aren't you not supposed to post such messages in the Classified ad section ?


Pascal wrote:
"Aren't you not supposed to post such messages in the Classified ad section ?"

I don't think Randy is the seller - his post is not an ad for a calculator, it is a comment on dubious ebay practices.

Have a great day,


I'm from the NYC area and real estate prices here are out of control. If you assessed my house you'd think I was some kind of rich guy. No one thinks it's going to fall back down for a long time (if ever). Still, the value, in my opinion, despite my owning it, is way overinflated.

I love HP calculators, especially all their scientific/graphing RPN models, old or new. But what some people have the nerve to ask for something that even when it was new that cost less than $200 USD at most is... well, disappointing. Even if you're a rabid collector, is it truly worth so much?? Oy, eBay!... a mirror image of game shows!

It reminds me of businesses that gouge their (often longtime) customers when things go bad, as when local discount stores here were charging ten, twenty, or more US dollars for flashlights and batteries during the recent and infamous blackout.


I have to disagree with you, Ed. I think the word gouging can only apply when an individual or company is in a monopoly situation. When there is competition, the free market system works to punish those who overprice their goods -- customers go elsewhere and the would-be gougers generally don't make any money.

The people who bid on eBay do so of their own free will, I suspect. For the auction in question, a modest amount of research would show a would-be bidder that this item is not worth what the seller suggests. Someone who bids based solely on what the seller tells them, when better information is readily at hand, deserves whatever deal they wind up with.


Valid points, all, Patrick.

It's just that I was beginning to get the impression, however, that most if not all eBay auctions for HP RPN calcs were going out of control. The few I happened to look at were getting up there in price. But, you're right; bidders go their on their own, hopefully with their eyes open (wide).

Personally, research notwithstanding, and no matter how much I'd love to have a particular model, there's a line in my gray matter past which the wallet does not go. F'rinstance, I'd love to own a HP-25 or 25C, just because they were the first HP's I laid eyes on before I got my own (by which time these guys were discontinued). But I'm not sure I'd be willing to pay for one of those what I'd pay for a spanking new 49G+! Again, this is only my opinion. This is why some of those prices seem to me to be "gouging level" numbers.

Thanks for your constructive reply.


I wonder if the HP-25 is one of the most beloved of HP's amongst my generation (I was a new undergraduate at the time of its release). When the HP-25 came on the scene, the alternatives available which had programming cost considerably more, so it was something of an affordable programmable for its day, and extremely capable in its own right.

Through the vagaries of life and broken relationships, I lost my original HP-25. Through the wonder that is eBay, I have managed to get a replacement. The bizarre thing was that the seller was local and it turned out that the machine previously belonged to a friend of mine! He had given it to a charity.

Every time I hold that HP-25 in my hand, I see again how its contours were designed to be held just that way. I am flooded with the memories of my undergraduate days. To say that the price of the machine has been paid back to me would be a terrible understatement.


Ah, see, I only *PLAYED* with some professor's old 25C and never really got to work with one. By the time I got to college, the 34C was introduced (though the 41C's were the cat's meow, I couldn't afford one then... I'm not sure I can now!) so I'd side with Norm Hill in that to me, the 34C is the epitome of affordable handheld programmability! But, one reason why I made the comments I did was because there were times I could have sworn I was going to max out the 34C's memory capability (storage registers get converted to program memory as needed); I think the 25's memory was smaller!

See, we have different ideas as to what constitutes a pinup, even if they have very similar pinouts!


I couldn't agree more, Patrick. I'm also a very great fan of the HP-25, which was my first HP. It had that incredible physical quality lost ever since (the 34C couldn't compare at all), was eminently affordable (unlike the 65 and 55), and it was amazing what you could do in just 49 steps, I guess even its very creators couldn't anticipate just how much some people would put in it.

Newer generations of HP fans are somewhat 'spoilt' with models having far greater RAM, but at the time (1976), the mere fact that you could compute elliptic integrals on a handheld calculator was nothing sort of miraculous on engineering clasees. Not to mention doing things that could barely be attacked on our faculty computer, using FORTRAN and a batch of perforated cards (the least intereactive kind of programming you could imagine), such as root finding and even solving differential equations using 3rd and 4th-order Runge-Kutta. That could be done with an HP-25, single-handedly, on the spot. People were astonished to the most.

There were programs you could fit on a 49-step HP-25 that wouldn't on a 100-step HP-65, not to mention the HP-55. I wrote dozens of programs for it at the time, and even though they were of increasing complexity, I don't think I really reached the limits of ingenuity for 25's programming.
There are still cleverer programs that could be written for it.

Anyway, I fully doubt that any person not having experienced this first hand would be able to ever grasp the feeling, but for those of us who did, nothing compares, be it 34C or 41CX or 42S or 49G+. The HP-25 was an amazing feat of engineering, the like of which the calculator world would never experience again.

Best regards from V.



I agree with you. The early programmable HP calculators were revolutionary in that they gave you a "programmble" AND personal device.

My first calculator was the HP-55 (which I chose over an HP-65 because it had more memory, a timer, unit conversions, and built-in linear regression). I pushe dprogramming the HP-55 to the limit. I did interpolation, polynomial evaluations, and mostly linearized regression. By the time the HP-67 showed up I was more than ready for it power. My favorite HP calculator is the HP41C which I used in graduate studies and my first job. It was my little companion that I took on job assignments. After work (especially whne I was out of town) I'd sit in my hotel room and write programs that I'd document and send to the HP User's Library in Oregon.

Programming in BASIC, Pascal, C++, VB, C#, and so on has definitely overshadowed keystroke programming, but the latter still remains a nostalgic activity.




Smack me for being a little kid with the "newfangled" 34C!

LOL!!! :D

At least SOME people have had "more ancient" HP calculator experiences than I!

I truly wish I could have used a 25C (no continuous memory... I used to store stuff like Plank's constant, permittivity of space, etc., just so I didn't have to flip open the bookcover. You know, when you're slumped on the couch or at the desk poking away at the calculator and scribbling on paper, YOU JUST DON'T WANT TO GET UP just to look up some silly constant.) But by the time I was really needing a good calculator AND had some money, the 34C the was latest thing.

No offense, but here's where I must say I like the 48's and 49's better even than any 25, 34C, 32S- these 48's and 49's have prerecorded scientific constants built in (unfortunately, I have accidentally memorized quite a few of them now, so this is no longer so useful)! And, I was able even to load in a periodic table, along with much even non-numeric chemical data, without using up the RAM! Well, that may not thrill too many people, but for me, it's a bit of a timesaver.

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