HP8s learning modules now online...



The HP8s is HP's roughly $10 algebraic calculator available only in Australia and China and perhaps a few other countries in the Asian market.

It is a totally postfix algebraic calculator. Want to find the answer to: LN ( SIN (1 + 2/3))?

Type it in exactly as written.

Some algebraics are a mix of postfix and prefix notation. The HP8s is not.

Even though you may not buy an HP8s, this might be of some interest. Sorry, but HP did not make a single Zip file of all the learning modules for this calculator. Not my fault!


It is a totally postfix algebraic calculator. Want to find the answer to: LN ( SIN (1 + 2/3))?

Type it in exactly as written.

Some algebraics are a mix of postfix and prefix notation. The HP8s is not.

I'm confused by your use of the term 'postfix' here; syntactically, postfix means "operator always follows arguments", such as in "1 3 +", yet the HP 8s is clearly not an RPN machine.

Non-sequitorially, I note from the specification of the HP 8s that it has a battery life of 956 days; this is a curiously precise figure for a notoriously inaccurate quantity.

And while I'm whining, is there a reason why it's the HP 8s, and not the HP 8S? Do only business people and graph-plotters deserve majuscule designations these days?


Oops. Meant entirely PREFIX operation.

And, 8S / 8s, who knows? Once a company starts using uppercase and then lowercase and then goes back to upper, it gets confusing.

A capital S took an extra key to be pressed. I was lazy. :-)


Meant entirely PREFIX operation.

It's not that either; if it was, you would compute the sum of three and four by "+ 3 4", and eight factorial as "! 8".

The 8S uses algebraic notation, which is a mix of prefix, infix, and postfix.


Wow. 0 for 2 today about the 8s... Lol.

Ok, how about this...it is a more prefix notation version of algebraic that we normally see.

Perhaps that won't make it 0 for 3! :-)


Why tell a fact simply, if there is a chance to express it in a complicated way? ;-)

The 8S is algebraic. Other calcs may use a less consistent notation.


battery life of 956 days

Looks like someone measured the "on" and "off" current drain, divided out against the mAh spec of the coin cells, and put the resulting number in the spec. Even though the spec says that it is based on one hour of operation per day, it is absurd to specify battery life in this way; there are still too many other variables that affect it.

They should have said "longer than two years based on one hour use per day".


This calculator obviously keeps a running count on the clock. When it reaches a number equivalent to 956 days it applies a short across the battery.

Edited: 6 Oct 2006, 12:07 p.m.


Hi Gene, all;

I see that the Built-in functions specify these:

Mathematical, Scientific, Statistical, Fraction, Programming, Operating
I felt myself curious about the Programming feature and I ran over the Training Modules and found no specific one about Programming. In fact, I downloaded the Operating Modes module and did not read it so far (this computer has no Acrobat Reader). Does it contain such informations? Do you know if the HP8S manuals are available on-line as well? Would they include programming information? I know I should look for this information, but I thought about asking first...

Best regards and thanks.

Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 6 Oct 2006, 12:20 a.m.


Nothing. Not sure why it says that.

it does have some pretty fancy regression techniques for a $10 calculator, but no programming.


maybe it has the functions (AND OR NOT HEX/BIN) that are supposedly useful for a programmer (of other things)


Nope, no bit functions, or I would have created a learning module to show how to use them. :-)


I'm looking for a very cheap calculator for my middle school kid - because some of his friends have lost or broken their $100 TI-84s at school. I see this HP-6S calculator on e-bay for $10.00 - is it any good? Any other thoughts on a dirt cheap calculator that would be used as a "second"?


If you're looking for an HP, then the HP9s sells on ebay for about $12 with free shipping right now. It's not "bad".

If you're looking for a TI, then the TI-36X is around $10 shipped off ebay.


See http://www.datamath.org/Story/LogarithmBug.htm before considering the purchase of a TI-36.


Back when I was teaching physics and astronomy labs, I made it a point to collect various cheap (non-RPN!) calculators that I could loan to the students who "forgot" theirs (what did they think we were going to do in lab that day?!?!) so they had no excuses.

For under $10 each (and sometimes as cheap as $5 on sale at places like OfficeMax for the Sharp and Canon), I found TI30's, a Sharp EL-531V, a Canon F-502 (these last two are pretty impressive for all the functionality they include), and the all-time crap winner, an Aurora SC150X. (I'm not including the truly worst of the bunch: one from the 99 cent store - which really did cost only 99 cents, but which started to fall apart as soon as I began using it!)

Send me an e-mail, and for a few bucks plus postage, I'd be happy to get rid of most of these.


I bought a huge lot of 6S solar calculators to put out as our signature Geocaching item (TeamKay). They seem to be a pretty big hit, but more with adults than kids. I'm not sure what that means exactly, it could just be that kids see calculators more as work and less as fun. Personally I really like the size and cost of the 6S and if it was RPN I'd love it.

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