HP32SII Rom Versions


Hi all!

I'm currently occupied with an HP32SII and I wondered if there are any different ROM versions of the machine and if there's any (software-) way to get the information directly from the calc (is there any keystroke sequence revealing this information, that is). In particular, if any ROM modifications have been done at all, does anyone know about significant differences between the versions? Besides, are there any known version related bugs?

Thanks a lot for your time and input!


Have a look at http://www.finseth.com/~fin/hpdata/hp32sii.html

I don't know how to find the ROM version. During self tests (ON-E), a message is briefly displayed: 32SII-OK. On my HP32SII, the announciator 1 is also displayed with this message. It could mean version 1. Does somebody have an other announciator set at this stage?

And if someone know how to get the ROM out of the HP32SII, please let me know. A HP32SII emulator would be nice ...



Hi J-F,

indeed a few interesting bug reports in the database; thanks for the hint! B.t.w., my calc also shows the 1 annunciator together with the "32SII-OK" after the self-test. It's a pretty new machine although I can't interprete the new series no. scheme: I'm sorry, Wlodek! I know you once told me how to read it but alas I did forget about it and can't find your mail either :-(


Talking about a new scheme for serial numbers, I still cannot interpret the numbers of my HP17BII, 32SII and 19BII. All of them will start with 1D, but will have no letters where they were supposed to be, indicating the country of origin. BTW, they are manufactured in Indonesia.

Any clue ?


(remove "spamno" from email address for direct email)

The serial numbers on newer models made in Indonesia differ from the original scheme (counting years from 1960).

The new serial number format for Indonesian calculators is:


.... where "ID" stands for Indonesia
y is a single digit indicating the year
(e.g., "8" is 1998, "1" is 2001)
ww is the week of the year
sssss is the 5 digit serial number for that week

- Ed

P.S. Could it be that in adopting the new serial number format, HP assumed there would never be a need to discriminate between 1998 and 2008? Should we view this as an ominous sign?


Maybe, but maybe they just didn't expect to ever have another model that stayed in production and was made in the same country for ten years.

I suspect that the "1D" that Jose mentioned was really "ID" for Indonesia. I've read that the newer 49Gs have a serial starting with CN for China. I expect that they're using the ISO country codes as listed here for the new style serial numbers.




I've noticed for a long time that Asian manufacturers use one digit for the year while US makers use two digits in the datecode on electronic parts. Even the Asian divisions of some US companies use one digit - you can tell whether TI parts were packaged in US or Asia this way. I figure, as James says, most things don't stay in production for ten years. Also, you can tell from packaging materials and other clues what decade a thing was made. And the purpose of the datecode from the manufacturer's point of view, tracking quality and warranty issues, is pretty much over with in a short time.

How many HP calculator models stayed in production for more than 5 years anyway?


The HP-12C, HP-42S and HP-20S were manufactured for more than 5 years, as an example. Anyway, maybe HP doesn't intendo to repeat the feat in the future...



forgot the HP41.


HP calculator's sold over more than 5 calendar years (from Dave's museum figures):





















Sorry if I've missed any off or included any that should not be there.


I guess I should have asked, "How many HP calculator models were in production for TEN years?", since the matter under discussion was whether one digit is enough to convey the year in a datecode.


OK that list is a bit shorter:






HP32Sii (just)

HP41CV (just)

And who knows, perhaps the HP48GX?

However I do get your point, most manufacturers just put a serial number on the part with no year indicator. Did HP just make a rod for it's own back?

Note that the more recent calcs have been in production for a long time not only because they are mostly good but also HP did not invest in calcs for almost the whole of the 1990's. It's a testiment to the original design that the same model sold over ten years.


In my humble opinion, there is a large difference between pre and post HP41 times. In a plot of usability versus time, I think we can clearly observe a period in time (1972-1979) in which every six months new features appeared (HP 35-45-65, TI 50-56-52, HP 25-25C, HP67, TI 58-59). From the HP41 introduction on, changes were MUCH slower, since most "dreamed" features were already available in the HP41(with symbolic math and graphics remaining the major elusive dreams for ten more years). So it is a matter of evolution; and something like the law of diminishing returns, which commands these processes. After achieving a good usability level, the focus shifted to friendliness, lower price, smaller size (Voyagers: 10C-11C-15C-16C series), and then lower manufacturing-service costs (Pioneers). The high end turned powerful but more difficult to use for regular tasks (48...), which is a doubtful progress for these devices.

Again, my hat off to the HP41 !!

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