New HP17BII+ (new keyboard with wide input/enter)


Have any knows if this new model is shipping (in the US)? Have any bought one? better keyboard? it is the same platform that the HP35s?

You can see it at

Edited: 16 Sept 2007, 11:24 a.m.


Yes, I've seen pics of this unit a while ago,

but not a detailed one like this so far - Thanks for that:-)

Now this is a very good hardware basis for a new 42S, isn't it?



Yes, I agree with you that is its an excellent platform for the HP42SII( hope that some guy from HP could be reading this). A good idea for HP will be to celebrate the 35 anniversary with a limited edition of HP42, HP15c (based on Platinum 25th edition). The ROMs are ready (please, do not add anything, just put as they were, it could be easier, cheaper...better for us, long time users)

Edited: 16 Sept 2007, 4:12 p.m. after one or more responses were posted


Where is the rom for the 42s? I didn't think HP had ever released that rom.



Nor have they released the 15C ROM, for that matter.

But you can use the built-in debugger of the 42S to send the ROM contents out the infrared port.


I was refering that HP has the ROM, and the only thing is to get port to a new processor (that is the same thing that was done in the HP17BII+ {in some place some time ago, I had read that all the HP42S instructions were in the same HP17BII ROM, but I am not completly sure that that was true}
My point is, that is not rocket science to port HP42S ROM to a new platform or HP15C ROM, that there are today calculators based on those platforms, and that the process was in some way done to the HP17BII+ and to HP12CP (and 25edition). Given that, could be easy and profitable to re-born those classics (it not make sense to me, trying to reinvent the wheel (and failling doing that), if there are good products and experience to use.

Sorry, if I did not explained well,

Edited: 16 Sept 2007, 4:09 p.m.


I think the approach for a rebirth of the 42S would be

similar as with the 33s/35s: A simulation written in C/C++.

But the OS of the 42S is much more powerful and complicated than that of the 33s/35s.

As I wrote in another thread, the original 42S OS consists

of an RPL kernel with a simulated RPN usr interface.

Yes, it's not rocket science, and there is a 42S simulator already,

Free42 in particular, which is available for various platforms,

even my N770 runs a flavour of it.

Regarding the original HP-17BII:

The HP-42S and the original saturn-based HP-17B/II share a similar kernel,

and have a similar RPN-like user interface,

but the 17BII does _not_ have all the functions that the 42S provides,

and vice versa.

However it's perfectly possible that the developer(s) of the 35s

designed the code so that ist may be reusable for s.t. like a new 42S...

...and if it provides a binary compatible FOCAL execution engine,

it will be even better;-)

Somewhat OT...

For those who do not know what I mean with FOCAL execution engine (FXE):

The original HP-41 implements a mechanism to execute binary streams,

and a FOCAL program written on the HP-41 is a series of bytes

which will be fed to that engine.

The two reincarnations of the HP-41 from HP,

the HP-42S and the HP 82210A HP41CV Emulator card for the HP-48SX,

both feature a binary compatible FXE, which means you can feed

the same binary stream to either of the engines.

The emulators, like Emu41 from JF Garnier, V41 from Warren Furlow,

Emu42 from Christoph Giesselink, and the saturn-based emus

from Hrast also implement that compatible FXE, of course,

because each of these emulators uses the original ROMs;-)

Free42 is a bit different, as it doesn't use the original ROM code,

but I think the FXE is similar, at least if it's functionally compatible.

However I haven't checked this particular case.

The HP-71 HP-41 Translator module is a completely different beast.

As the name implies, it translates HP-41 FOCAL streams

into functionally equivalent FORTH words.


I think the approach for a rebirth of the 42S would be

similar as with the 33s/35s: A simulation written in C/C++.

I wonder if Thomas would be willing to license the Free42 source to HP under terms other than the GPL? While it would be unbelievably cool if HP were to come out with a 42s++ based on Thomas' code, and at the same time publish their changes as the GPL requires, I think that stretches credulity farther than hoping for the calculator itself does. But Thomas, as the author of Free42, could relicense it to HP under any terms he wished. He might even make a couple of bucks. (Euros, sorry. Much better to be paid in euros nowadays.)



oh, oh...It looks like if the ROMs are missing (as Eric told us), one possibility could be to license codes from the emulators, as Howard suggest (wow think about the possibilities, kind of 'virtualization' at the calculator level). If an agreement could be reach, could be a great advantage for HP, the fan base community and for the emulator's authors. I would really prefer this kind of input (well tested code, that was based on the fundamentals of those calculators), and a path for additional functionality, that can grow to a solid plataform (if enough care is given to the hardware and design)

So, the idea is in the air. It makes sense (short development cycle, proven code, new powerful hardware...virtualization at calculator level). Any one at HP interested? This could be the return to a new era, based on innovation in product and cooperation between the user community.

Any HP associate that could pass the idea?

Edited: 17 Sept 2007, 1:20 a.m.


Your idea makes sense, but I'm sure HP would rather pass the specifications for a classic calculator to some outsourced programmers somewhere in the Philippines. Emulation requires a good bit of overhead, and I doubt the accounting department at HP has any interest in using original code when it requires a CPU with a PPU above $1.


I wonder if Thomas would be willing to license the Free42 source to HP under terms other than the GPL?

Sure -- anything goes as long as it is understood that I will always retain the copyright to the original Free42 code (i.e. the version I maintain and which has always been licensed under GPLv2). I'll probably have to go over the code to make sure that I obtained all the third-party code in Free42 under licenses that allow such relicensing, but as far as I can remember offhand, there are no major issues there.

So far, nobody has approached me with any concrete offers, though. Guess I'll have to keep my day job for the time being. ;-)

- Thomas


I was refering that HP has the ROM

Actually, HP does NOT have the ROM code for many older models. Lots of stuff was lost in the moves from Corvallis to Singapore to Australia to San Diego, including most of the pre-48 source code and binaries.

It's very likely that the 15C code is long gone. Possibly the 42S code as well.

I had read that all the HP42S instructions were in the same HP17BII ROM, but I am not completly sure that that was true

It's not. There's some shared code, but nowhere near all.

port HP42S ROM to a new platform [...] the process was in some way done to the HP17BII+ and to HP12CP (and 25edition).

Those weren't "ports", but rather rewrites. The original 17BII and 12C code are not used in any form in the 17BII+ and 12C Platinum.


If HP released the hp35s this year, the 35th Anniversary of the hp 35, don't you think we're going to have to wait either 6 years for the 42nd Anniversary of HP calculators, or worse, 23 years until the anniversary of the hp 42s?!?

:) Pal


Sadly, you had a point, but I think that it could be late to do that. I think mostly of us, HP fans, are baby boomers (in some way nostalgic for the old times, but may be not a large enough market), that could buy those products because using it, we remember college days (I need to admit that buying HP calculators is for that purpose, I am not doing a generalization to all). I had placed an order for a HP50G (my only problem is in what problems to use, mostly I am Mac user, with Mathematica on my MAC, Numbers (part of Keynote suit), Excel, etc. I am not in need to get tests (currently I am administering the tests), but frankly, to me HP calculators are kind of gagdet that I like, and that evoke on me, things to remember, and love to have.

For sure that there is plenty on events to use for launch products, the 35anniversary is a point in time that could be use for more that a product, not doing that, will close an opportunity window to re-create products that were recognized for their top quality an innovation. To me, is a huge waste not to preserve one of the best representation on the quality and innovation delivered by a company (management vision and engineering expertise), that created a market for a product base on building of new ideas and needs.

By the way, I was showing the new HP17BII+ to know when it will available, to order mine

Edited: 16 Sept 2007, 4:44 p.m.


Have any knows if this new model is shipping (in the US)?

No idea.
Have any bought one?

better keyboard? it is the same platform that the HP35s?

It is not the same platform as the 35S. It pretty much the same size as the old 17bII+. I haven't checked yet to see if it fixes the let and get bugs - must do that soon :-)


Miguel said:

it is the same platform that the HP35s?

You replied:
It is not the same platform as the 35S. It pretty much the same size as the old 17bII+.

To me, the new 17bII+ certainly appears to utilize the same basic physical construction characteristics as the 35s, which I would define as using the 35s "platform". It looks to me like they took the 35s, removed the cursor keys, removed the top row of keys, and converted the second row to a full row of six standard keys, and shortened the whole calculator accordingly. It has the same "stepped" faceplate as the 35s, the same straight top and bottom but gently curved sides, the same rectangular shape keys, the same straight rows of keys. In contrast, the previous 17bII+ has fairly radically curved top, bottom and sides, all keys are curved top and bottom (some more than others) and the bottom rows of keys are not straight across. So, while it may be the same size as the previous 17bII+, it certainly appears to me to be based on the new 35s design. The pictures below illustrate the above described similarities and differences. Forgive me if I misunderstood the original intent of the word platform or your interpretation. No disrespect intended, just trying to clarify.



With respect to that new 17bII+ case, sadly, this is probably the case and keyboard layout they should have used for the 35s, so the top row of keys could return to the soft-key menus like the 32s2 (or actually like the 17bII+ and 42s). Oh well.

Jake Schwartz


Well, but compared to the 35s you lose 6 keys by going back to this layout. Thus you will need deep menus, especially if you feature one shift key only. IMHO there are better solutions possible.


wow! i have absolutely no need for anything financial past a % key or, absolute tops, a tvm solver.

but i want one of these just on looks alone.

please someone talk hp into putting some useful guts into that shell.


Edited: 18 Sept 2007, 9:45 p.m.

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