HP-32Sii



#40

I just received an HP-32sii calculator is new condition. It looks as if it was hardly used and is in perfect pristine condition. The back says Singapore with the HP logo and the year 1987. S/n is 3318S20199.

I paid $175 on Ebay for it. The seller said he won it from HP and it was hardly used.

Having only the new HP-35s to compare against I'm really liking the limited menus and the two shift keys with direct keyboard access.

How does this model rate against the other HP models? It seems to me that it is head and shoulders over the newer 35s. I understand that it has 384 bytes of memory but for me this is not a big limitation.

Would be interested in how well the 32sii was received in it's day.

Jerry Weisskohl


#41

Your calculator S/N 3318S20199, was made in the 18th week of 1993, according to the first four digits of the serial number.

You will find many positive reviews on this model if you search the site. The 33S and 35S were based on the 32sii - a Pioneer. It was and is an excellent calculator made with the classic quality that is now a thing of the past.

Although the 15C (for the most part) and the 42S rival its capabilities, you will undoubtedly enjoy using it! Don't be fooled by the condition either; I used mine daily from 1994, when I bought it new, until 2005 when I retired it from daily use. I still use it now and then and it also looks like new. The previous owner may have simply taken good care of it.

Jeff Kearns

#42

Hi;

I was checking the HPmuseum files and I saw that the HP32II is mentioned to be introduced in 1991. Yours is a 1993 uint (taking the first two digits of the serial# plus sixty: 33 + 60 = 93)

It was my first year after finishing the University when HP introduced the HP32SII, and I remember that the 'HP41 fever' was getting lower because of the Sharp and Casio pocket computers, along with the advent of the PC's (at least here in Brazil they were beginning to take place). I cannot tell for sure, but the HP32SII, as an HP32S upgrade, had bigger competitors in the HP48S/SX and the HP42S, both introduced in a very closer period of time.

I did not see so many HP32SII as I saw HP41's, HP11C's (15C's were fewer) and HP28's, but I still think Sharp, Casio and PC's themselves were their actual competitors.

Cheers.

Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 15 June 2010, 10:19 p.m.

#43

32sii positives:
Good buttons. Good display. Lots of functions. Fraction handling is really neat. Unit conversions is useful. Ability to put algebraic equations into a solver is very useful. For 11c users, feels like a more powerful 11c.

32sii negatives:
Keyboard function layout is busy, and not as "unified" or something, as say, the 11c was.

"Unary minus" in the equation list is very weird and confusing, and there is even a bug with it. I think it might be discussed at craig finseth's site. There was some bug with the fraction feature on early units.

The Equation List is not a fully functional system. No editing without backspacing over stuff. Very limited memory makes equation list very limited in long term utility. Of course who wants to put a lot of long term stuff on a non-io machine anyway.

32sii is currently the most in-demand "obsolete" model, and also possibly the most numerous as far as I can tell.

#44

To those that use it, the fractions function is without a doubt one of the 32sii's most unique features.


#45

True!

Dealing with inches is somehow easier when you can see their non-integer part as a fraction. I know that the HP33S allows choosing the denominator basis, is it the same with the HP32S/SII?

O.T.: I was not aware of some non-HP modules for the HP41 series until I bought and built my first MLDL2000. I tried many (at least for me) unknown modules and I must confess that the AECROM was a big, pleasant surprise (I´m an electrical engineer), and its ability to deal with length units (including fractions viewing) and expression writing is amazing.

Cheers.

Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 16 June 2010, 1:31 a.m.

#46

I purchased an HP32SII in 1997 to retire a ten year old HP-15C. What a disappointment! The HP32SII has incredibly poor complex number support, compared to the HP-15C. The HP32SII "pioneered" the sorry, awkward, illogical, un-natural complex number support that infected the later HP33S and HP35S models. I immediately retired that new HP32SII in favor of the old HP-15C.

I was later able to get a couple of new HP42S units. The HP42S is similar in appearance to the HP32SII, but far more capable, versatile, and easy to use (as numerous threads on this forum have demonstrated in the past). Most acknowledge the HP42S as the finest RPN machine ever made, even today, 22 years after introduction, and 15 years after discontinuance. The HP42S is THE most sought after RPN calculator on sites such as ebay. Prices well above $300 are common.

To be fair, the HP32SII is a limited but servicable calculator if one doesn't need competently or logically implemented complex number support, and if one can forget that the HP-15C and HP42S ever existed.


#47

Gee whiz, Mike. You never miss an opportunity to express your vendetta against the HP-32S/SII. We've read it a number of times, over and over again.

Quote:
The HP32SII "pioneered" the sorry, awkward, illogical, un-natural complex number support that infected the later HP33S and HP35S models.

That is incorrect. The functionality closely parallels that of the HP-41 Math Pac of 1980, and first appeared as built-in microcoded routines in the HP-32S. I've posted that information a few times.

Although admittedly awkward for interactive use, that functionality is quite useful in programs. Just today, for a real-world problem, I employed my Two-bus AC Power Transfer routine, which computes complex power using five of the HP-32SII's complex-domain functions.

Quote:
To be fair, the HP32SII is a limited but servicable calculator if one doesn't need competently or logically implemented complex number support, and if one can forget that the HP-15C and HP42S ever existed.

Harsh assessment, there. I have all three, starting with the HP-15C in 1983. My AC power program could be ported to the HP-15C, but it wouldn't be nearly as user-friendly without the INPUT and VIEW functions, as well as single-letter storage registers. Also, the HP-32SII runs 12 times as fast as the HP-15C.

The HP-42S could run a more-refined implementation of that program, but the display is not easy to read.

-- KS


Edited: 16 June 2010, 1:32 a.m.

#48

Don't knock the 32S/Sii because you made the wrong choice. The 42S was a compatible replacement for the 15C, not the 32.


To compare: The 15C was the top-of-the-line scientific Voyager

The 42S was the top-of-the-line scientific Pioneer

The 32S/Sii was the middle-of-the-line scientific Pioneer, which is more akin to the 11C, which does not have complex number support at all.

Edited: 16 June 2010, 4:38 a.m.

#49

Personally I prefer the 32S above the 32Sii/33S/35S because I prefer menus. I hate having to scan the keyboard for a function. Everytime I need a less used function, I have to scan the keyboard - "is it a keytop/orange/blue function?" What a bother! Arranged logically in menu's I know to just go to a menu and there it is.

Bart


#50

I must be in the minority here but I used a 32Sii for about 5 years and much prefer the 35s. I don't use much in the way of complex numbers or programming so that probably tilts my perspective.

I love having the two line display and make a lot of use of the equation solver which I like better in the 35s.

I do keep the 32sii around for doing calculations in different bases as the 35s is a pain there (and I don't have a 16c).

#51

Jerry, as you can see, there are differing opinions on this machine. But after 3 years of reading posts here, I think it reasonable to say that most members here view it positively. I am not an RPN man, I have no need for complex numbers, and I prefer the 27s Solver, so I use it mostly for fractions, which IMO is well-implemented.

I bought a 35s thinking since it was dual RPN/ALG, it would roll the best of 32sii and 27s into one (plus all that memory), but was very disappointed that it kept the very limited 32sii Solver.

There is always the debate over multiple keyboard shifted functions vs. menus, but IMO that is a user preference issue, not good/bad design issue. You pays your money you makes your choice.

#52

You've got a ton or responses here with a good amount of detail. I'll just add that I have virtually all the HP calculators (duplicates of the voyagers and pioneers) and the 32sii is the one I use every day, it's my clear favorite. I think it strikes the right balance of function, form and easy of use (especially when it comes to programming).

-Katie


#53

I've been using my 32sii for 12 years virtually every day. It is very rare that I don't have it with me.

Not a single problem up to now and it still is in a very good shape. For me the last serious non graphing calculator HP made.

It's successors, above all the HP-35s are pure CRAP, because of design faults and bad hardware. And the worst, HP doesn't have the guts to admit that and to change something.

For the case that something goes wrong with my 32sii I still have 5 brand new in the box, which I bought for less than $80 a piece. That stock should be sufficient for my lifetime ;) (currently I am 32).


#54

Quote:
For the case that something goes wrong with my 32sii I still have 5 brand new in the box, which I bought for less than $80 a piece. That stock should be sufficient for my lifetime ;) (currently I am 32).

Yes, I think you have it covered. Don't know how long you plan to live, but let's assume 92 is a good number. That's 92 <Enter> 32 - 5 ÷ years apiece, not counting the one still in service. Perhaps someone on here has computed the MTF for a 32sii, but I feel confident it is > 12 years.

Of course to be accurate we would have to know if yours are Singapore or Indonesia, and what the difference in MTF for these is.

Come to think of it, we would also have to know from your family history, your own MTF.

Perhaps someone can write a calculator program for this? {:-)


#55

Quote:

Yes, I think you have it covered. Don't know how long you plan to live, but let's assume 92 is a good number. That's 92 <Enter> 32 - 5 ÷ years apiece, not counting the one still in service. Perhaps someone on here has computed the MTF for a 32sii, but I feel confident it is > 12 years.


I think the problem is that electronics do age even when not used. So maybe one will end up after 30 yrs with all spare calculators in bad condition, so to say "new crap in box"
I always think to myself the best way to honour these HP folks who developed such calculators is to use em daily, what is what I do.

I own a swedish made mechanical calculator "Original Odhner" from 1925. What a beauty under the hood. Handmade parts in bronze. It works like a charme and I bet these quality calculators can easily get 150 yrs old without any problems at all. No need for spare calculators here :-)

#56

I agree with Katie, I have all Pioneer models (and pretty much every other HP calc ever made!) and the 32Sii is one of my favourites. I have 3 x 32Sii's - the only one i'm not overly happy with is the green/purple version made in Indonesia - the quality isn't as nice as the Singapore version.
I *love* the 42S, but for quick calculations it is hard to beat the 32Sii as all the functions are easy to find. And as someone else rightly pointed out, the 32Sii was a mid-range calculator - the 42S is far more powerful and an amazing machine for lots of other reasons.
I actually don't mind the 35S, but it's size in its cover is an issue for me as it doesn't fit into my jacket pocket!
Cheers, Keith

Edited: 17 June 2010, 4:42 a.m.

#57

Without any doubt you are free to buy whatever you want but I would not pay 175 $ for a second hand machine if you want it for daily use. You can buy at a cheaper price an HP 49 GII: its big screen, endless stack, amount of menus and functions and its connectivity should be a better option.


#58

Quote:
You can buy at a cheaper price an HP 49 GII

But it doesn't beat the 32S* (or any Pioneer) for pocketability. I don't think HP currently has anything on offer to match the Pioneers. The 10S just doesn't look the part and the 300s & 35s are just that bit bigger. The Pioneers were perfect "pocket calculators".

#59

Quote:
The Pioneers were perfect "pocket calculators".

And so many different models to suit everyone's needs. Perhaps HP is headed in that direction again with the 20b/30b series.

#60

Quote:
And so many different models to suit everyone's needs. Perhaps HP is headed in that direction again with the 20b/30b series.

Interesting thought, but it looks to me like it's more of an all-in-one approach in that the 30b does everything the 20b does and a whole lot more. Also, the 30b has a lot of scientific functionality for a business calculator. However, the form factor is obviously taken from the Pioneer series, the key layout is nearly identical and the outer dimensions are within a couple of millimeters of the Pioneers.


#61

Quote:
... the form factor is obviously taken from the Pioneer series, the key layout is nearly identical and the outer dimensions are within a couple of millimeters of the Pioneers.

Yes, with updated styling. And HP has already produced two models in this form factor. Can't say that about 33s, 35s, 17bii+.

#62

Quote:
Yes, with updated styling. And HP has already produced two models in this form factor.
Unfortunately, yes. The bevelled edges make this models quite wobbly. It is interesting that HP repeated this mistake with the 30b. Usuallay, they introduce a *new* problem with each calculator.

Both approaches (keeping a bad design and replacing a bad design by another bad design) are hard to understand. One would think that a "design evolution" as a third approach would be far more superior. It should reduce necessary investments and should lead to designs of increasing quality/usability. HP never used it in a notable manner, not even in the good old days (the Woodstock - Spice transition comes to mind).

But this thread is about a Pioneer calculator (sorry for hijacking it for my little rant). Whoever designed it, he created the best series of calculators of all times, with the 32SII on top of all others due to display and programming (as Katie already mentioned).

#63

Well, 17BII+ Silver is rather Pioneer-like (size, layout display). Of course, 33S and 35S are not.

#64

OK, if we're including financial calculators, the new 10bii is a nice form factor. It's compact and has a contoured soft slip on cover like the pioneers, unlike the bulky 35s zipper (or even the 33s cover, which although it's "slip-on" it adds about 1cm to the dimentions). It also looks nice with the dark body and silver bezel on the top.


#65

I agree, I like the form of the 10bii quite a lot, much more than the 20b/30b. It just needs an RPN option and an double-wide ENTER key somewhere to make it one of the great HP calculators.


#66

Quote:
It just needs an RPN option and an double-wide ENTER key somewhere to make it one of the great HP calculators.

And a scientific version....but I think we're into wishful thinking territory here :(
#67

And there is also the joy of using a calculator that you really appreciate the design, build, functionality, and feel of. $200 might seem like a lot for the up-front cost of a calculator, especially one that is 10-15 years old, but amortize that over the 5-10+ (or more) years of using it. It's totally worth it, at least in my humble opinion.

#68

I gotta think that newcomers like Jerry must marvel at the long threads of (sometimes) argumentative responses received from a relatively innocent original post.

Or did you intend to spark a discussion, ... Jerry?


#69

I agree Martin, such a variety of responses from those who like it and don't like it. A couple of observations on this thread:

Quote:
32sii is currently the most in-demand "obsolete" model

Quote:
The HP42S is THE most sought after RPN calculator on sites such as ebay.

Is there any scientific evidence to support either claim, or are these maybe just opinions of the respective authors?


#70

Don,
I think you make a good point. Although I suspect the long and short term price trends are slightly higher for the HP-42s, ebay is not a perfect supply/demand environment, and that 10-20% average margin may or may not equate to "higher demand". A collector-quality 42s will generally sell for more than a collector quality 32sii, I think because the 42s is slightly harder to find in fine condition- which may also drive the price up for the really nice ones.

I also suspect there were far fewer 42s calculators made, perhaps as many as three or four 32sii's for every 42s that came off the HP line.


#71

I would bet the ratio is more like 10 or 20 more 32sii than 42s!

the 42s was discontinued pretty quickly. The 32sii kept going right up into the new millennium--and it had the distinction of being the last scientific RPN machine on the market--for quite a long time.

Maybe the ratio was 4:1 while they were concurrent, but not in the long haul.

Edited: 17 June 2010, 9:45 p.m.

#72

Quote:
Is there any scientific evidence to support either claim, or are these maybe just opinions of the respective authors?

And what does "in-demand" and "sought after" mean? To me they mean number of people that are looking for such items, not the prices they go for. In which case neither of those claims might be true.

#73

Quote:
Is there any scientific evidence to support either claim, or are these maybe just opinions of the respective authors?

Surely such claims are subjective, but even so, not without merit.

Anyway, how would you set up a "scientific" study of such questions. No. of bidders? No. of bidders per auction occurrence? Price range from starting bid to final? Number of watchers? Some combination of above? Perhaps someone could write a test algorithm and program it into their 32sii/42s. {:-)

From reading the news, it seem even the scientists don't know what scientific evidence is these days.


#74

Oh, I'd say they are without merit.

When someone makes a claim like "the HP-15c is the most desired calculator among collectors" and doesn't cite any verifiable evidence to back it up, the claim is without merit; it's just one's opinion. Now, opinions are fine, we all have them (just look at this forum!). But to state a "fact" without saying it is one's opinion is, well, I don't know the right word to use, but it just strikes me as wrong.

You are right, there are countless ways to study Ebay sales and auctions and arrive at statistics, and if one wants to do that and show how they arrived at a "fact," then fine, do it; readers can determine for themselves how valid they believe the results to be based upon the method used.

Facts, without cited supporting evidence, are just opinions and should be identified as such.

That's my "opinion"!!


#75

Don, perhaps I should have said "not totally without merit".

Yes they are opinions, and should be stated as such. Nevertheless, it should be somewhat obvious to anyone who tracks these calculators on eB** that both the 32sii and 42s are in high demand, at least most of the time. It's definitely a stretch to say either are the highest demand, without some data to back it up. So the statement is partially true, hence not totally without merit.

My opinion, of course.


#76

Agreed. And, really, all the old HP calcs get a lot of interest, which speaks to their great workmanship I'd say. There aren't many things that old that still work! I got a 65 about 3 or 4 years ago and it is one of my favorite calcs, and my students love those flashing LEDs when a program is running.

#77

I wanted to thank everyone for the replies. I appreciate all the responses. I have now had a chance to use the HP-32sii and also have spent considerable time trying out the HP-42s, which is also a very impressive calculator with all the Functions available, albeit a difference interface with the menus. I'm not sure how I feel about the menus, they are not bad but I see they are necessary with all the functionality the 42 has. You probably just need some time to get comfortable with them.

I have plans to go get my Doctorate in Computer Science and find that I need to take the GRE's as part of the entrance requirements. I work as a computer programmer (actually, now in management so I am no longer hands-on) but it's been about 15 or more years since I have used any of the math that are on the GRE's. I'm more than a bit rusty. So my immediate goal is to get back up to speed with the help of a Scientific Calculator, therefore, I picked up the HP-32sii. I'm also looking for a good review book.

I really like the HP-32. The display is nice and big and it certainly appears to have the functions that I will need. I work with computers all day and don't like turning one on in the evening, unless I need to find something on the Web and read email. The Hp-32sii is light enough to carry around and turns on and responds quickly. My computer takes 5 - 10 minutes from boot time before it quiets down and is fully usable.

I know that the trend is now towards computers and was a bit disappointed to see that many of the more capable HP calculators have been retired. This HP-32sii I hold in my hands looks extremely durable and I am hoping it will last me through my doctorate program.

Jerry Weisskohl


#78

Jerry,

The 32sii is a good choice and I'm sure will keep going long enough for you to complete your thesis and get your PhD. I used a brand new HP-11C and later an HP-16c to get me though grad school in CS, they're both still going strong.

-Katie


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