General thoughts on buying an hp calculator



#2

I am an engineer in the oil and gas industry here in the UK. I've noticed that every time I change jobs, I buy a new calculator. When I moved to my present company I bought my first hp, a 33s. While I don't use it to its full potential, it still gives me a lot of satisfaction - especially handing it to those who can't use RPN and waiting 5 minutes while they try to find the equals button.

Anyway, I am on the move again soon and since the betteries have gone on the 33s I am in the market for anew calculator. Initially I was interested in an 11c or 15c, and have been watching them on e-bay. But today on your site I see there is a new 35s, which has the retro look and build quality of the older models. My question is what are your opinions of these three (or any other).

Thanks in anticipation,

Craig.


#3

If you are Age 38-44 you will likely prefer the 11c or 15c, but if bidding prices are a concern, buy a 35S. By the time the batteries are dead on that one, HP will likely have released another model.

If you are looking for a model to fit your needs: Consider the 17bii/17bii+ for financial, HP48GX for expandability, 42S for lots or matrix/complex power in a small box (and few/no bugs), 15c for matrix operations in Voyager form-factor. 32S/32Sii for general FAST key presses and +-*/ operations.

The 35s does not exceed any of the above calculators in function or longevity.

There is already 100's of recent pages of HP35s' thoughts, so lets not beat a dead horse on that topic, PLEASE!!!! Read through the archives if you want opinions on that model.


#4

Quote:

If you are looking for a model to fit your needs: Consider the 17bii/17bii+ for financial, HP48GX for expandability, 42S for lots or matrix/complex power in a small box (and few/no bugs), 15c for matrix operations in Voyager form-factor. 32S/32Sii for general FAST key presses and +-*/ operations.


Wasn't meant to be another 35s discussion. I have read the reviews and know the pros and cons. Was just looking for an overal opinion. The above quote is exactly what I need so that I can look in earnest.

Thanks.

CW


#5

Quote:
I have read the reviews and know the pros and cons. Was just looking for an overal opinion.

Pardon the anecdotal picture, but I think the general consensus is that the 35S is a critical turning point. (Nevermind it's merits as a buggy little devil of a calculator!) It represents future promise for an industry, art, and science nearly killed by poor marketing and worse quality.

The recent HP35S release shows that the new management is looking back to the original roots of the Corvallis Division, and breathing new life into a part of their company that for decades helped make "HP" synonymous with quality and dependability.


#6

Allen,

assume your diagram shall show a function f (though not so clear at x = 35A and (48GX+33S)/2 ). Assume further the horizontal axis shall be "time". Now what is f(t)? "Quality" came into my mind first, but which kind of? Why the steep increase before 35A? Was quality zero before?? And why is f(48GX)>f(42S)? What forms the minimum before the 33S? Or did you mean "# of functions per micro-gallon"? But then f(33S) must be >f(35A) :-/

Oh, so many questions! Thanks for enlightening (and please remember basic rule #1 of diagrams: always label your axes! :)

Edited: 20 Oct 2007, 1:17 p.m.


#7

The axis labels are implicit from the preceding paragraph. GRIN! Please see definition #3 of the word anecdotal . (used on purpose!!) That is: "Information based on casual observations or indications rather than rigorous or scientific analysis."


#8

:D

Ok, Allen, one point for you! But this doesn't answer my questions :)


#9

Quote:
not so clear at x = 35A and (48GX+33S)/2

Sorry, hard to draw strict functions with a Microsoft Mouse (I mouse left handed, while I am right handed. this allows my right hand to control data entry e.g. on the number keypad or pressing keys like ALT+E F this is around 15% faster than using the mouse on the dominant hand.)

Quote:
Assume further the horizontal axis shall be "time". Now what is f(t)? "Quality" came into my mind first, but which kind of?

Correct... Probably the f(t) is closer to 'popularity' which is a product of quality and utility. P=Q*U. :) To that end, There should be a significant DIP for the SPICE series, all of which are poor.

Quote:
Why the steep increase before 35A? Was quality zero before??

The Y-axis crossing should be at 35A.. sorry I was in a hurry.

Quote:
And why is f(48GX)>f(42S)?

See my comments on P=Q*U.. same quality, more utility.

Quote:
What forms the minimum before the 33S?

I assume the minimum since the 33S is not the bottom so they had to have built up to it.. Really it should be undefined for that time period, but since there are no data points, we must infer.

It is part joking, but I like Craig's idea about exploring it further. :)


#10

Thanks, Allen, for your explanations.

Quote:
Probably the f(t) is closer to 'popularity' which is a product of quality and utility. P=Q*U. :)

No, I will not comment on this definition of popularity. No, no! But perhaps the product P=Q*U shall be called "power"?

Quote:
I assume the minimum since the 33S is not the bottom so they had to have built up to it.. Really it should be undefined for that time period, but since there are no data points, we must infer.
(Emphases by me)

Sorry my limited English is not sufficient to detect what you meant.

Let's see what Craig will find in his exploration :)

#11

I love this graph. Do you mind if I try this concept and take it a bit further? Will need to do a bit more research.

CW

#12

Quote:

Anyway, I am on the move again soon and since the betteries have gone on the 33s I am in the market for anew calculator.



Craig,

Any reason why you need a new calculator if you can change out the batteries? I never owned a 33s, but can't you put in new batteries?

David Bailey
HP 35s owner


#13

David,

I sure can and probably will. A new calculator is not a need, it's a simple want. Tying it in to what has so far been a happy coincidence by saying it's a tradition salves my conscience about spending a bunch of money on something I don't really need.

I'm probably going to go with the 35s, since it's half the price of a second hand 15s, and I don't need to do matrix calcs or complex numbers. That being said in the long run I may try and get a 15s to add to the collection.

Thanks,

Craig.


#14

Quote:
A new calculator is not a need, it's a simple want.

Craig, I was in exactly the same position as you about 2 months ago - a first time owner of a HP calc, HP33S. I bought HP35S because I like the retro look. It is nice calc, but to be fair, for simple calculations (like your I don't use it to its full potential, the HP33S is probably as good as HP35S. As a 33S user, you probably have got used to the keyboard layout, which was much criticised here earlier by users of older HP calcs, so the keyboard is not an issue for you.

On the contrary, you're likely to find some features of HP35S quite annoying. Some problems are described here

So, if you want to program your calc (especially longer programs), HP35S is MUCH better, get one. For hand calculations, not a big improvement over 33S. Still, it really looks nice... :-)

Regards, Vaclav


#15

Quote:
So, if you want to program your calc (especially longer programs), HP35S is MUCH better, get one. For hand calculations, not a big improvement over 33S. Still, it really looks nice... :-)

If you aren't programming then I'd say the 35S is a big step backward from the 33S as far as the keypad layout is concerned.
The layout on the 33S was optimised for hand calculations, but the 35S is optimised for programming.

Dave.


#16

Speaking of the 33S key layout.
Does anyone know why HP changed the key layout on the 33S?, and without changing the model number.

Have they done this on any other calculator?

Dave.

Edited: 21 Oct 2007, 9:26 a.m.


#17

Hi, Dave --

Quote:
Does anyone know why HP changed the key layout on the 33S?, and without changing the model number.

The one on the right must be the improved HP-33s with the known bugs fixed and more conspicuous radix points. I wasn't aware of the rearrangements. Most of the changes I see make sense. On exception: x2 -- originally an unshifted key -- should have remained in its original place along with square root, with x3 shifted above x2, and cube root shifted above square root.

Quote:
Have they done this on any other calculator?

Probably not. The "old HP" tended to "get it right" the first time and particularly valued continuity, even when some bugs were subsequently fixed and internal hardware was updated (e.g., HP-41 and HP-12C). Significant upgrades were accompanied by a change in model designation (e.g., HP-41CV to HP-41CX, HP-32S to HP-32SII, HP-48S to HP-48G).

-- KS



Edited: 21 Oct 2007, 5:41 p.m.


#18

The 33s having INT divide on a key top was never sold.

And, no, I have no beta unit that is that way either.

The keys on all 33s models I have are all in the same locations as the ones sold. There is no other model.


#19

Thanks, Gene.

Maybe it was the work of someone with Photoshop. I got a bit suspicious when the displayed numerals didn't seem any narrower, as they are on the HP-35s.

-- KS


#20

Quote:
Thanks, Gene.

Maybe it was the work of someone with Photoshop. I got a bit suspicious when the displayed numerals didn't seem any narrower, as they are on the HP-35s.


If it is a photoshop job then it's spread a long way. Seems like about half the ads out there for the 33S show the one that has supposedly never been released.

Dave.


#21

It all goes back to the initial press release. That one had a different key layout. They final released model was refined from that.

I remember this coming up here at MoHPC back then.

#22

I've tried out a couple of 15c models and didn't like the feel of the key presses, especially the Enter Key--fairly stiff with less of a tactile click than I like. These were fairly old calculators, though. I really like the 35s. Feels about perfect to me.


#23

Back when all I had was an 11c, I thought it was perfect. Then I lost it and bought a 32sii. I was pleasantly surprised to find that even thought the model seemed less expensive in appearance, it was actually better with the key action. This was of course a Singapore 32sii, way back in the early days of the model.

I still like the Voyagers, (in layout logic, and functions per square inches, they are just beautiful) but I do feel that the Pioneers are even better in key action. The very best of all: Champagne (Singapore, not Indonesia).

But it is a personal preference. Some people really prefer the Voyager feel and that is OK:-)


#24

None of them felt as good to press as the keys of a Spice in its prime. You can feel, barely hear the keypress and the kid next to you taking the chemistry or physics exam won't hear them, and your brother wasn't awakened by your fevered programming of some Byzantine, derived expression to calculate some number of grams or electron volts, but you still felt the key's feedback through your fingertips with just the right amount of mechanical resistance.

Totally satisfying... even at four in the morning (well, this last part maybe if you're still nineteen or twenty.)


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