Gigant HP-34C


I saw a picture of a guy standing besides a gigant HP-34C in a store. Does any body know anything about this and where it may be today?


You can find in the pages of this site porbably the picture you saw. You'll see it's a 33E and not a 34C. For more information, check

Otherwise, I'm sure dave would be glad to have the picture you saw added on his site !


Aaaargh - you're right. It was an HP-33E...


Okay - I'll ask David:
Dou you (or anybody else) know what the gigant calculator was for. Was it to impress people, that HP is the greatest calculator manufacturer, or was it just for staggering people?
Was other gigant calculators made?


My country--that photo was taken in my home town--is obsessed with giant things as promotional vehicles. We are surrounded by oversized replicas of things ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous. The Big (fibreglass) Banana, a giant concrete Merino ram, a huge inflatable vacuum cleaner, a 500-metre-long earth worm. There's dozens, if not hundreds, more over-sized objects that contribute to the background noise of commerce and tourism.

I'd guess that photo was taken in the 70's at the time the calculator was first released. The dress standard exhibited by the male "model" was de rigeur on university campuses at that time. The man in question was probably an engineering graduate, possibly preoccupied by his doctoral thesis; perhaps even a member of the engineering faculty. That would account for his splendid dress sense.


In a twist of irony, one of our largest national science icons--the radio-telescope at Parkes--is reproduced in miniature as a tourist "attraction" in the main street of the town near where the real structure stands.



in the early eighties, I've seen two of those giant 33E's
here in Germany.
One of them was standing in a computer store,
at some time replaced by the second one.
The owner of the shop told me they had been originally used for teaching purposes.
I remember it was funny to move the big 'ON' switch
and pressing the large 'buttons' to key in numbers.
Each of the segments of the 7-segment number displays consisted of a row of LED's.
The machine wss driven by 220V on mains.
Even the 'PRGM' mode worked!

I asked him if he wanted to sell one the machines,
but he refused:-(




I was introduced to HP calculators by my college physics professor, Matthew Halfant. I distinctly remember sharing a joke with him about his need for a large "instructor" version of the HP-21. Recalling that the use of the slide rule was often taught on a "large-print" model with a ~3-foot scale hanging from the classroom ceiling, we thought it would be funny to have a Brobdignagian calculator in front of the lecture hall to illustrate the nuances of RPN.

Lo and behold! Such a machine (eventually) actually existed.

I wonder, were "instructor" versions of some HPs ever created? (Do I remember something about a plug-in display for overhead projection of an HP-48 screen?)

I don't suppose it would be as easy to implement an oversize display likeness of an LCD model, now would it?


Yes there exist at least two versions of an overhead display for the 48 series and the 38G.

AFAIK the 'original' version was made by Firmware systems of Corvallis for HP, the later version by HP themselves.

I saw some of them when I visited Firmware Systems in Corvallis in 1999.




I once saw a Casio scientific calculator that was designed to be used on an overhead projector. The screen on the calc was transparent until it was turned on, LCD of course. The person was asking $80 for it. It had a manual and a hard carrying case. Altogether it was pretty interesting.


When was the picture taken? OK it looks like xmas time but there are some clues that it's not as old as you might think.

What about a caption competition...

1) Gee I knew HP calcs were big in America but this is ridiculous.

2) Is this the only HP calculator ebay trade when the postal charges will cost more than the calculator?

3) Now, let me calculate how pleased my wife will be when I tell her what I bought today... Punch in how much money is left in my bank account, multiply by wife's patience factor, then divide by how many HP's I now own, then... Oh dear, the smallest number I can display is 1E-99.

4) Old calculating device found with out-dated styling and operating system, strange hair like growths visible due to lack of maintenence, a HP33E can also be seen in the photo.


Another computer dating success story

"We met through the Internet. Sure, my friends looked at me a bit funny, but I've always believed it's personality that counts."

The gentleman was unavailable for comment.


Tom (UK) wrote:


4) Old calculating device found with out-dated styling and operating system, strange hair like growths visible due to lack of maintenence, a HP33E can also be seen in the photo.

OK, that's great!!



Honey, I shrunk the curator!


(I'd always thought that was a picture of Dave Hicks. I should have read the explanation more carefully . . . )


... that is using internals of an old 33 that was given to me by its former owner after being dismantled. I have the main board with two IC´s, upper case, complete keyboard and power control board. The LED's display is no longer in place, no back case and battery door.

I did not try firing it up, but if it is working, I think seriously about building a giant LED´s display with local current driver and a proportional, original-style, giant case.

A dream. A feasible dream. But the heck, what is life and old calculators' junk for? There is only one thing that would make me give it up: someone asking for parts to rebuild another calculator. At least for me, this is reason enough for stop dreaming and start using these parts for a better, real purpose.

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