Finally got my HP-42S



#2

Actually, two HP-42S's, and I have a question about the difference between them.

One of them has a flat, glossy LCD (1990 serial number), while the other has a recessed, matte LCD (1993 serial number). The newer LCD seems to be a little higher quality, maybe. Both were made in Singapore. I haven't checked the software version on them yet, but I imagine the newer one has a higher ROM rev. Are there any other differences I should be looking for?

I have to say, I really can see why people love them so much. Both of the 42S's I got are in really good condition, and I've decided to make one of them my "daily calculator" (next to my new 35s) for a while to get used to it. So far I love it! It's like having a teeny tiny 41CV in my pocket. I can easily see it has such a cult status.

The only things I don't like about it are the LCD, which people have already discussed ad nauseum, and the alpha entry mode. Alpha entry isn't terrible, but it's certainly not as nice as the 41C.

Overall, impressive. I look forward to playing with it more!


#3

Quote:
One of them has a flat, glossy LCD (1990 serial number), while the other has a recessed, matte LCD (1993 serial number). The newer LCD seems to be a little higher quality, maybe...

I haven't checked the software version on them yet...


I bought two 1993 versions that the local university bookstore still had in stock in 1997. Serial numbers start with 3328S.

Turn it on, push LN and EXIT, and the self-test will start. My units say the firmware version is HP-42-E.

Quote:
...It's like having a teeny tiny 41CV in my pocket.

It's much better than that. The HP42S is five times faster, has much greater precision, has many more built-in functions, operates naturally in the complex domain, manipulates matrices much easier, has built-in solve and integrate functions, etc. The HP-41C/CV/CX has none of these, and even a HP-41C with Advantage module leaves much to be desired in comparison. The only thing that I miss that's on my HP-41CX is the clock/calendar/time functions.

Quote:
The only things I don't like about it are the LCD...and the alpha entry mode.

I've no real complaints about the LCD. It is good for a 20-year old calculator design. And it really wasn't designed to be a text processor.

Quote:
Overall, impressive. I look forward to playing with it more!

Take a look at the information at:

http://www.finseth.com/~fin/hpdata/hp42s.html

The built-in memory scanner/debugger is described on that page. By poking the appropriate value in the appropriate location, you can double the speed, at least until the value gets re-initialized on the next machine reset. This is not all that useful, but it's fun to be able to play with the machine's internal settings.

Mike


#4

Quote:
Turn it on, push LN and EXIT, and the self-test will start. My units say the firmware version is HP-42-E.

This isn't the firmware version.

To check the ROM revision recall the memory scanner of the calculator with

EXIT + LOG

<-

You see something like 023F5:710D... The address and content differs from ROM to ROM, then press the <.> key to evaluate this address. In the top left corner of the display you see one alphanumeric character. The character is the ROM Rev. of the ROM. Known ROM revisions are A, B and C.

Cheers

Christoph


#5

Quote:
This isn't the firmware version.

To check the ROM revision recall the memory scanner...


Thanks for that info, Christoph. I never came across that before.

I wonder what the significance of "HP-42-E" shown during the self-test is, then.

Mike


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