Is my HP-38G a keepper?


Hi all.

I pulled my 38G out of mothballs and yes, the manual came with it. Although yes, I do have an infinitely superior 48GX, does my 38G have any potential?


Makes an excellent doorstop. The rubber feet are quite substantial.


I guess if you consider it heavy enough to serve as a doorstop, it'll work as a bookend.


I bought one on TAS and it did not work when it arrived. I opened up the case and was appalled at the poor design and terrible construction inside. The problem was a poor contact on the battery connections. The AAA batteries also were an extremely tight fit. Even after I made it work, it was just too foreign in the way it worked for me to get used to it.

I suppose if a burglar broke into my house I could throw my HP-38G at him. He would probably be so shocked and appalled at its poor construction that I could have time to get away. That is about the only use I could think of for it.


I'll add that to the '1,001 Ways to Make an HP-38G Useful' chronicles.


This disdain and disrespect for the HP 38g, from back closer to HP's "good ol' days" is shameful! After all, this wonderful machine came out after that horrible and hated and useless HP-42S was removed from the product line.

HP even featured it with two articles in the June 1996 HP Journal, one and two.

Repent and acknowledge the error of your ways!


I gotta admit, while my 38G gets least used (in favour of my RPN/RPL HPs), this model provides an excellent alternative to me investing too much in following TI's lineage after the 89 was introduced. Although I do prefer my 48GX over my TI-86 & TI-89, this 38G shows me how good HP is at playing along with TI's game while making this unit not only easier to use but also very robust in functionality.


Of course, I wasn't being serious.

It amazes me, this thought that HP had 16 years ago that a piece of crap like the HP 38g could gain any market share. You've got to love the styling too, with all that low contrast hard-to-read "artsy" left-coast green-green look, similar to concepts used on all the other mostly-horrible HP calculators from 1986 to 2006 (up to 50g-era). The fecal-brown/orange Pioneers and all the 48 series are abominations as well...only the internals (but certainly not the externals) of the 42S betrayed that there was somewhere some real talent and comprehension not yet exterminated at HP.


Just kidding with my title-pun... Your rants about the inadequacies in design and styling of the post-classic models from '86 on (except for the venerable HP 42s) are most amusing.

I do not share 'all' your views, except for the superiority of the 42s capabilities as a pure RPN calculator. If only its display contrast was on par with either the 15C or the 32sii... Maybe it is simply because the 15C was my first HP (used in university - Mechanical Engineering); but I still prefer it as a daily tool. I admittedly have not fully mastered the 42s and may change my preference one day.

I own two HP 42s calculators. One of these days I would like to increase the memory of one of them to 32K. But I wonder what good that will do if I have a catastrophic MEM CLR? Having to manually re-enter all the programs that would have to be saved as a paper backup is a daunting thought.

Jeff Kearns


that happened to me. 6k of programs lost. i had hard copy but just figured screw it and sold the calc to someone in the apprenticeship who needed an rpn. it got stole out of his pickup. bad karma calc all around. if the 42 had had mass storage it would have been perfect. but didn't, so wasn't.


Bookend is a much more elegant and fitting use for it. Besides, it isn't wedge shaped. An old Ti would be better for that aspect haha.

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