HP-33S



#44

Hi All:

I just inherited an HP-33S at work. I don't see any references to the 33S on the site. Does anyone know anything about it? It is older than my 32sII but very similar in the key layout. It has a 2-line display,and its styling is kind of art-deco: angled, satin chrome. Has a contoured shape like my old 25 but larger, which I like better than my 32sII which is very straight-sided.

Cheers,
Michael


#45

The 33s is newer than the 32SII.

#46

The reason you did not see any references to the 33S on main pages of the site is because it's buried. There is a small mention of it under "Some Interesting Later Models (1986)", then "Other Hewlett Packard Calculators and computers."

Maybe the curator eventually got tired and stopped updating the site with complete descriptions of later models. Or maybe he just doesn't think the later models are that worthy of note in a "museum."

But if you search the Forum archives, you will find lots about the 33s.

Is it really brushed chrome, or just silver-colored plastic?


#47

It's really metal, not plastic, but I thought (guessed) it was aluminum.


#48

I doubt it.


#49

What do you doubt, Walter? That it is metal? That it is aluminum? Well, it is. I have three of them.


#50

You're right, Bill. Just found mine again :)

#51

The bezel and faceplace feel like brushed aluminum to me. I have two of them, both with at least one bad key, but still working. Have they become rare? I'd like to get a replacement but I couldn't find anything under $50 neither at TAS nor anywhere else.


#52

Hi Gerson. The 33s is still for sale in the US at HP's web site for $40 at 33s

Regards,

John


#53

...and it comes with the printed manual. At least the two I just bought did.

#54

Thanks, John! I guess they won't deliver to non-US addresses, but it's good to know they're still available.

Regards,

Gerson.

#55

Quote:
Maybe the curator eventually got tired and stopped updating the site with complete descriptions of later models.

I concur. I wrote him twice in the last 5 years asking for a museum update (which will be supported by us for sure) but got no response. Assume he's busy.

#56

Dave's museum is one of the greatest things ever written to be read as HTML and it is a *museum*. I leave it at that and defer to whatever he wants:-)


#57

Quote:
Dave's museum is one of the greatest things ever written to be read as HTML

I agree with you completely but it could be valid HTML.
It's easy to validate this page.
Just for the demonstration I made a valid copy.

What are the necessary changes?

  1. Add DOCTYPE and content-type:
    <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"
    "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">
    <HTML><HEAD>
    <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1">

  2. Use alt-tag for images:
    <img src="http://www.hpmuseum.org/mohpc.gif" alt="MoHPC" border="0" width="136" height="16">

  3. end tag for element "P" which is not open
    </EM></P>
    Removed end tag for element "P":
    </EM>

Then what's the benefit because both are displayed identically? With a declared charset it's not up to the settings of your browser how to display special characters. This may lead to funny characters in names for instance.

I suggest to go one step further and allow the use of html-tags for special characters. A simple solution would be to support something like [&laquo;] or [&radic;] in posts.

With the hope Victor is not offended I morphed a part of his HP-48G page into
a museum post.

Posting this program would then be possible:

[pre]
[&laquo;]
-> fX x x0
[&laquo;]
fX x [&part;] DUP -> dfX
[&laquo;]
dfX x [&part;]
[&raquo;]
SWAP 2 ^ 1 + 3 ^ [&radic;] SWAP / -> fR
[&laquo;]
fR x x0 2 ->LIST |
[&raquo;]
[&raquo;]
[&raquo;]
[/pre]

My guess is that these changes shouldn't generate too much effort to implement but they would be a great benefit.

Best regards

Thomas

#58

Eventhough 33S had all the functions I needed, the keyboard layout was just so hard for me to get used to it. The Keys in and a V angle layout made the shift functions hard to find. The location and size of the <enter> key was also hard for me to get used to. I just disliked the layout so much. The size and grip feel was good. The 35S was such a positive comeback to what an HP calculator layout should be. Now we just need a smaller Scientific Calculator and without menus :)


Edited: 13 Feb 2011, 9:35 a.m.


#59

Quote:
Now we just need a smaller Scientific Calculator and without menus :)

15c+

#60

15c+ ? I bet this had been discussed in a forum archive someplace at one or more times.


#61

Many times!

#62

Quote:
Many times!

Jim, to save you time, I can summarize the previous discussions for you with two points:

1a. HP could produce an emulated 15c on the existing 12c+ platform at low development/tooling costs.

1b. HP could not produce an emulated 15c on the existing 12c+ platform at costs low enough to justify it.

2a. HP will do it because the market for either the utility of it or the retro appeal of it is huge.

2b. HP won't do it because the market for it is too small.

Choose a or b.


Edited: 14 Feb 2011, 9:14 a.m.

#63

here's an interesting question:

if HP took the internals of an hp-33s (without change) and placed it into the case of an hp-42 (ok, allowing for the extra keys), how good a calculator would this be? how many people would be happy?

i ask this as someone who has never used and knows next to nothing about the 33s.

cheers,
rob :-)


#64

It wouldn't be a 42s. IT would be a 32ii with some enhancements and more memory.


#65

oh yes, i didn't mean to suggest it as a 42 replacement, i mentioned the 42 case merely because of the 2-line display.

i was wondering if people would see it as a worthy 32s/15c substitute if the 'cylon' style case was eliminated from the equation.

cheers,
rob :-)


#66

Quote:
I was wondering if people would see it as a worthy 32s/15c substitute if the 'cylon' style case was eliminated from the equation.

Wouldn't that basically be a 35s? (OK, I know, there are some other differences, which Bill Platt summarizes below).

Edited: 14 Feb 2011, 9:44 a.m.

#67

Quote:
i mentioned the 42 case merely because of the 2-line display.

Using a 42S-style two-line display requires a HUGE internal change, not "took the internals of an hp-33s (without change)" as you stated before.

AFAICT, the reason that HP isn't introducing newly designed models with a two-line dot matrix display is that the chip they have chosen for new midrange designs, the Atmel AT91SAM7L128, only can drive 400 segments. That isn't enough for a full dot matrix graphics display; the 17B/17BII/27S/42S display is 131x16, which is five times as many display elements as the SAM7L can drive. They would have to use a separate display controller, which drives up the cost.

There are starting to be some other ARM microcontrollers with similar power dissipation to the SAM7L, such as the Gecko families from Energy Micro. ST has announced an STM32L low-power family, but I haven't studied the specs yet. However, there don't seem to yet be any with more LCD drive capability than the SAM7L.


#68

but the 33s already has a 2-line display - what processor does it use?

14 characters * 2 lines * 7x5 = 980


#69

Quote:
...the 33s - what processor does it use?

14 characters * 2 lines * 7x5 = 980


Also the 35s. I think Eric was referring to the 20b/30b. Anyway, the 42s has fully-addressable graphics, which 33s/35s don't.

#70

You're right, I was confused about the 33s/35s display. Still, it's not very comparable to the 42S display.

It is my understanding that the 33s and 35s use a part from GeneralPlus (formerly SunPlus) with a 6502-compatible core and masked ROM. I'm guessing that it's most likely a part from the GPLB3X series or GLP12/19 series.

#71

The angled keys are strange. But they are no more difficult to get used to than a change in button configuration (which you get used to every time you get a new model). That's my experience.

While the 35S looks nicer, I find that its direct functions and built-in functions are inferior to the 33s. The only advantage I see is in the solver, where it allows editing rather than overtype. However, the solver works differently enough from the legacy machines that it can get you in trouble. The 33s has some of these differences, too (perhaps the worst case of this is the 17bii+ which has a solver totally incapable of running some of the great stuff that was written for the originally 17b/17bii and unfortunately I don't think the new version is documented well enough to get to the same level of utility).

The 33s had some really stupid bugs in its first release--these have been repaired. However the 35s has some not good design ideas--specifically the BASE function is almost useless and it doesn't have the classic rectangular to polar conversion.

The ideas in the 35S include some interesting ones, but it feels like a product which was never completed. Unlike the 48G, where that lack of completion was only at the final UI level (but robust internally, allowing further development) the 35S is a "closed" system and you get what you got.


Edited: 14 Feb 2011, 9:06 a.m.


#72

Quote:
perhaps the worst case of this is the 17bii+ which has a solver totally incapable of running some of the great stuff that was written for the originally 17b/17bii

Yes, incapable of running some original solver equations unless the user makes changes to them. A few years ago I identified changes required to make the prime factor and lcm/gcd equations (listed in the Technical Applications Manual for the HP-27s and 19b) work on the 17bii+.

Quote:
unfortunately I don't think the new version (the 17bii+ solver) is documented well enough to get to the same level of utility

I agree. The 17bii+ solver works differently than the original 17b and 17bii solver. It does an extra "pre-evaluation" pass to identify things that can be pre-calculated and, unfortunately, this extra pass executes equations twice which sometimes results in variables having unintended values. The new solver always uses the iterative solver for the sigma function, never the direct solver. The new solver is significantly slower than the original solver. And the new solver works in ways that current HP personnel cannot adequately explain. None of these facts are documented in the 17bii+ manual.


#73

Quote:
And the new solver works in ways that current HP personnel cannot adequately explain. None of these facts are documented in the 17bii+ manual.

That is the deal-killer for me. That is what keeps me squarely away from using the 35s, 17bii+, or even the 33s solvers for anything important. I just don't trust them.

I would rather use my 27s--especially on computer since I have the original physical machine, I can run an emulator--and that way, I have the original well-documented hp solver, and I can back it up so that it doesn't go "memory lost" on me! For ad-hoc, the real machine is great. (Or I use the 48G. It is sort of a toss-up--both are on my desktop.)

This is the biggest problem with HP's current (meaning new products, rather than the 50G which is just a new HW for the 48G). They don't have the rigorous professional standing support veracity documentation that we demand as professional users.

I wonder what financial types think of with the 17bii+ Do they trust it?

What about the 20b and 30b? Has HP put in the real work to make rigorous, thoroughly documented products? (I haven't even bought one yet let alone had one in my hand).


Edited: 14 Feb 2011, 11:03 a.m.


#74

The solver in the 20/30 (I say 20 because this is used to solve for one of the finance calculations) is essentially identical to the 48 solver, just in C. The results between them are identical.

TW


#75

That is great!

#76

Quote:
And the new solver works in ways that current HP personnel cannot adequately explain.

Don, this statement puzzles me. Do you mean the help desk folks don't understand the Solver? Or the R&D guys (Tim and Cyrille?) don't know why it works as it does? Makes one wonder, who programmed it, are they still around, did they not pass knowledge down through the corporate structure?

#77

No, not the Help Desk people, I wouldn't expect them to know the technical details of how the solver works in certain situations. A few years ago I was puzzled by the solver's behavior and I asked Cyrille if he could tell me why it behaved the way it did, and he couldn't. He said he did not have a debugger for the 17bii+ (like he had for the 50g) so he couldn't answer my questions. That's what I was referring to, and I still have all the emails we exchanged during that time. And the HP support staff in San Diego also did not understand how it worked; they are the ones who referred to one of my valid equations as "meaningless".

I understand Cyrille has returned to France. I don't know if he is the person who actually implemented the 17bii+ solver or not (I got the impression he was from some emails he sent me), but since he is no longer around I wouldn't even know who to ask these days. I don't think there is anyone.

I will point out that the 17bii+ solver handles simple equations fine, so a typical user would proabably not run into the difficulties I experienced. Nonetheless, certain equations that worked fine on the original 17b and 17bii won't work on the 17bii+ solver without some modifications.


#78

Cyrille is now back living in France, but he still works on calculators. Nothing really changed since he was remotely working previously as well. HP just gets a larger phone bill. :-)

I believe all of the 17bII+ was implemented by Kinpo's software team. That probably explains why cyrille didn't know exactly what was going on in there.

TW


#79

Quote:
I believe all of the 17bII+ was implemented by Kinpo's software team. That probably explains why Cyrille didn't know exactly what was going on in there.

You may outsorce whatever you like. But you (HP) must keep control.

#80

When the HP shareholders vote you in as the new president and CEO of HP, then your imperative that HP "must keep control" might actually accomplish something. :-)


#81

Quote:
When the HP shareholders vote you in as the new president and CEO of HP, then your imperative that HP "must keep control" might actually accomplish something. :-)

It is "funny", because when calcs were in Corvallis and they did it all by themselves, they obviously experienced all the slings and arrows of getting keyboards to work consistently, and to engineer a good user interface, etc. etc. When a new model would be started, and those same people worked on it, all the features "baked into" HP machines were already understood and probably didn't even have to be committed to paper. As soon as the decision was made to have others create the hardware and/or firmware, the only way to assure that the outcome would be "HP like", would be to first physically itemize all that gives their calcs "HP-ness" and then communicate that to the other company. Since the outsourcing began well after the Corvallis people were no longer in the picture, I'd bet that the complete picture of "HP-ness" was lost and couldn't even have been communcated if it had been tried. This would obviously be before Tim's time at HP, but I just wonder if just after Fred Valdez took over (in 2002?) and jump-started the current HP-calc activity, whether a serious effort was made to itemize exactly what it takes to make a handheld box into an HP machine. Boy, have we tried to characterize that list as "outsiders/enthusiasts" at HP conferences for several years now, and it is difficult. It would be cool if somehow HP could engage users by soliciting (via the HP Solve Newsletter, perhaps?) inputs like this and publish them all back to the readers as the list grew. "What gives a calculator HP-ness?"

Jake

#82

Quote:
When the HP shareholders vote you in as the new president and CEO of HP...

Nevertheless, Walter's comment gets to the core of the problems we all lament.

Edited: 14 Feb 2011, 3:42 p.m.

#83

Thanks Tim. I agree.
Don

#84

I just noticed the 33s and 17bii+ are listed as products on Kinpo's web site: Kinpo


#85

I just assumed now-a-days that Kinpo designed/manufactured "all" of HPs calculators yet if that list is complete then they don't.


#86

AFAIK that site is just showing some examples for Kinpo's expertise. IIRC, those two models made for HP are on display there for some years already.


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