HP 35s on sale in Switzerland



#17

Besides cheese, chocolate and mountains, you get now also the amazing HP 35s in Switzerland:

HP 35s at taschenrechner.ch

Pricing: CHF 129.- (which is around USD 108.-(!) at the current exchange rate)

French manual versions in stock,

German available end of August,

English end of September.

A colleague ordered the calculator on Aug, 6, and received it on Aug, 9; serial no. 72100162(!), boxed with French manual. I also got my hands onto this HP 35s, and I must say, it's by far the best new calculator since a long, long time! The only flaw is a hardly noticable misalignement of the display.

Regards, Juergen


#18

Quote:
The only flaw is a hardly noticable misalignement of the display.
The undelying flaw ist a careless design and implementation. It's full of bugs and missing features. The fraction insanity (you always have to enter an improper fraction), the inability to compose/decompose polar coordinates from/to stack are just two design flaws that immediately come to mind.

Of course, the hardware has problems, too, not just the misalignment. The glare is horrible, the annucioators unreadable, the color scheme is not well elaborated...

I'm glad I haven't sold my 32SII :-)


#19

Thomas,

you have to be realistic: time has changed, and you will never see such well designed and high quality calculators as we had many years ago. Today, nobody (except some HP enthusiasts) would pay CHF 600.-(!) for an HP-41C as I did in 1982. And yes, I'm also happy that I didn't sold my HP-41C :-)

But when you look at the calculators that HP produced over the last years, the 35s is really a substantial progress, and it makes me hope that there will be even better HP calculators in the future! Personally, I do not want to goof on the 35s because I respect HP's efforts to get back on the right track :-)

Juergen


#20

I'm sure you're right with everything you wrote. But then, where does the road lead to when the 35s is the best machine that can be produced? I very much hope for a 35sII, considering all the flaws mentioned here.


#21

A 35sII would be great! I think it will depend on two things:

1) HP has to get new confidence that they can do good business with calculators

2) HP has to remember that people go for brands providing an extra value (like good design, outstanding quality, valuable support, ...)

Unfortunately, many management guys only want short-term profit to fill their own pockets. But that's definitely not what the calculator business is about. If you are a student and you (or your father) buys you an HP calculator and you say "WOW, this calculator is amazing!", then there is a good chance that you will later buy an HP laptop, computer or PDA, just because you already know that HP produces cool and useful stuff, not that crap you find everywhere.

Probably the most important reason why we can't buy calculators like the good ol' HP devices anymore is the "Geiz ist geil" (don't know how to translate that to English, something like "stinginess is cool") attitude of most people. As long as the price is more important than quality, usability etc. the companies will continue to produce crap predetermined for the bin.

Amen!

Juergen


#22

Hello!

Quote:
Probably the most important reason why we can't buy calculators like the good ol' HP devices anymore is the "Geiz ist geil" (don't know how to translate that to English, something like "stinginess is cool") attitude of most people. As long as the price is more important than quality, usability etc. the companies will continue to produce crap predetermined for the bin.

Well, I think we have had this discussion before (maybe not here?), but still: Yes, the "masses" seem to care more about low prices than quality. But there is a growing (!) market for high-price quality products as well. And there is a lot of money to be earned with high-quality stuff, even if the production numbers are low. Just look at Porsche in Germany: With a production run in the order of magnitudue of thousands of (very expensive) cars per year, they were finally able to buy out Volkswagen who sell (medium/low end) cars by millions...

So nobody tells me that there is no profit in quality products, if one really wants to make them. I myself prefer to buy good expensive stuff (so long as I can afford it) that lasts for so many more years, that in the end it turns out to really save money. Be it Cameras, Computers (Apple :-) ), shoes or washing machines.


So faced with the decision to buy a high-quality 400$ all-metal hp-35s or the bug ridden 50$ plastic thing that it has turned out to be, I would always buy the former. In fact, I am not going to buy this 35s as it is now other than for 10 Euros on eBay (not to use it, but for completing my collection), and therefore, hp is not going to make any money at all from me. Nothing or 400$? HP, the choice is yours!


Greetings, Max

Edited: 11 Aug 2007, 3:41 p.m.


#23

Quote:
But there is a growing (!) market for high-price quality products as well.

Let's hope that HP decides to (re-)enter this market!

Quote:
So faced with the decision to buy a high-quality 400$ all-metal hp-35s or the bug ridden 50$ plastic thing that it has turned out to be, I would always buy the former.

Me, too. As Frederick Henry Royce (one of the founders of Rolls-Royce) said: "The quality will remain long after the price is forgotten."

One additional note to Apple: I really like their innovative, well-designed products, but their products have "flaws", too. Greenpeace says: "[...] So why do Macs, iPods, iBooks and the rest of their product range contain hazardous substances that other companies have abandoned? A cutting edge company shouldn't be cutting lives short by exposing children in China and India to dangerous chemicals."

So as always in life, there is not only black and white but many gradations in between...

Juergen

#24

Quote:
I myself prefer to buy good expensive stuff (so long as I can afford it) that lasts for so many more years, that in the end it turns out to really save money. Be it Cameras, Computers (Apple :-) ), shoes or washing machines.


The tricky thing about this is that one hardly dare to spend many bugs on stuff you can be damn sure will be old and pretty useless trash in about three years time when better stuff will be available for half the money.
So many times I tend to buy the second best stuff from less known (but not bad for that) brands for less money.

And if there would be more producers offering (decent) scientific RPN-calculators I would not hesitate a second to betray HP. In the end its "bang for the bug" which I put first on my list as long as quality doesn´t drop below a certain level. Competition is the best engineer and brings products forward.

#25

I've worked for HP. They do, or at least, they did, consider all the things which are mentioned here and elsewhere. But,as with most companies "these days", when considering what to do with their development dollars, there are many competing choices. With pressure from shareholders on the board to make high profits, this gets passed down to senior managers, and on down the line to every employee. This produces the mindset which we have seen for quite some time now, that is, low selling prices mean everything, and, we must compete with others on their level, rather than set standards for THEM to compete against.

Another important consideration is: which project will produce the greatest return on our investment? Their thinking would then be: "why should I put those dollars into a "low volume" product when I can put them somewhere else and have higher volumes, higher margins, and thus, more income and profits? My performance evaluations and bonuses are not determined by what the board expects to happen in the future; they are determined by what the balance sheet says I am doing NOW. So, I will choose that which produces the best results for me, and not for HP's customers; I won't be around when all this impacts the "future".

I have always believed that a company will reflect the values and especially, the profession and orientation of its leaders, right down to the "lowest" employee. If the company's leaders and managers are accountants, for example, the company will be run mostly by what happens to the balance sheet near term. If they are of another profession, the company will be run to satisfy different values. The founders of HP were both PhD engineers, so HP was mostly and engineering company; most of their original product lines were, in fact, made FOR engineering and similar applications. Once HP began entering mass markets, with high volumes and lower profit margins combined with lower revenues due to much lower selling prices per unit, it was inevitable that changes would come about. And the HP we have today is very big in computers, which seems to get most of the attention, even though they still make a lot of engineering instrumentation, etc.

When HP was founded, and up to the time when Bill and Dave retired, HP was run by, and thus dominated by, engineers. They tended to think more like we do here, and that is what made HP successful. Once they were gone, the professional managers and accountants began to have more and more influence, hence, their professions and their values became HP's driving forces, which are much different from the high quality, perfectionistic values which drive the "engineering types", such as myself. That is when HP began straying away from its core values, and more toward what was being taught in business management classes in universities, etc., which is where most of the new people at HP come from. Throughout the electronics industries, this change happened. (Look at Microsoft, for example; they don't innovate much and certainly don't produce software that meets the requirements being suggested for HP calculators, yet, they are almost worshiped by professional managers for their success in spite of this....).

I don't know if the current management of HP is more like engineers or more like "managers" (not to debase management; it is necessary, but it is not the same thing at all as LEADERSHIP. A bank needs a financial manager more than an engineer....). I quit following HP when the F person became president, and sent HP down the path to oblivion. I hope HP learned from that and will veer back toward the kinds of decisions and attitudes that originally made them so successful! I am sure we all do, as there really isn't another company in this market, and many others, who can do what HP could do if they had the right leadership. Perhaps the 35s is the first try at returning to their roots; if so, I applaud it, and will try to understand what made them do what they did with the 35s. Since HP is "populated" by new individuals, it may take them a while, but if they are pursuing the founder's values, more or less, they will get there.

We can only hope...


#26

Hi Larry,

that you say is so true! Most founders of todays big player companies were engineers or scientists with a vision they wanted to become reality rather than business men.

Customers will be pretty much aware of real innovative products and willing to spend some extra money.
Old proven logic says that one first have to SPENT money before you actually can EARN money.
Today to many companies try to cut down investments and to maximize income. An equation which always will proof being wrong in the long run when this strategy starts to kill the innovative spirit of a company.

Even if I try to save my bugs, I am still willing to pay some extra dollars on things if I can see a real value in it. The old-fashion HP calculators of the 70s and 80s where such things giving you that extra-value. Innovations like he solver, numerical intergration, matrices, complex number math etc were something an engineer really wanted to have. All that combined in a funcional yet nice and rigid case with an exellent keyboard made us customers open our wallet wider than any marketing expert could imagine.

There is a saying:
"You can always make an engineer becoming a good business economist, but never an economist becoming a good engineer"

#27

My hope is based on the assumption that a redesign, which takes probably less effort than the 32S to 32SII transition, can be done quite cheaply. And there's time for an extensive beta test :-).

Oh, I have a second hope: A trade-in of the 35s for the new model :^)

Now, is that asked too much?

#28

Juergen,

Quote:
Pricing: CHF 129.- (which is around USD 108.-(!) at the current exchange rate)

...
I also got my hands onto this HP 35s, and I must say, it's by far the best new calculator since a long, long time! The only flaw is a hardly noticable misalignement of the display.

Reading the post of Thomas I must point out that there is always a second opinion. For only CHF 129.- you get a nice HP calculator, with a decent colour scheme, proper ENTER key, tactile key feedback, still in production, that we have been seeking for here in moHP for a long time.

If it didn't have any bugs, what would have we been looking for? Up to now, nobody came out with a bug finding that the HP35s incoorrectly calculates something (except those COS very near 90 deg)...


#29

> Up to now, nobody came out with a bug finding that the HP35s

> incoorrectly calculates something (except those COS very near 90 deg)...

>

According to other threads, the checksum for programs doesn't seem to be reliable.

Actually, I suspect it to be a pointer or counter problem,

at least the first example in the programming 'learning module'

yields the correct checksum.

And that reminds me of a 49g+ bug, where port 2 objects

will be partially overwritten under certain circumstances.

Or of an early, but long lasting and severe 49g bug,

which caused a memory leak when copying port objects to main RAM.

As you wrote, the 35s looks and feels much better

than most of the crap from the last eight or nine years.

But it wasn't only me who hoped that they'd debug

the anniversary calculator at least to a certain level:-)


#30

> But it wasn't only me who hoped that they'd debug
the anniversary calculator at least to a certain level:-)

Well, they failed on the first one as well 8)

Every complex electronic product should be produced with Flash EEPROMs, but I guess the engineer guys haven't been asked when planning this calculator...


#31

25 years ago, when I worked for an US-American company, I saw quite some production posters. One of them said, IIRC: "Qualty means to do it right the first time."

#32

Better enjoy as-is and buy them till HP can get some revenue to pay for the investment. It's a bona fide miracle and a tribute to everyone here along with the calculator toting geeks everywhere that this thing was even produced. Pretty unprecidented at this price. Look at Schwinn bicycles prices vs. when some got them new in the 60's. If we want the next gen of something else, this one will need to sell! Guess the mainstream retailers won't put them on the shelf since not a mainstrem graphic calc and costs half as much as one but 6x a standard scientific.


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