HP-35S..Not so bad



#8

Hi all.

I've been thinking about it. Having been able myself to milk quite a few robust programs as well as unleash the capabilities from the 35S' extensive function set and programming features out of the 35S, along with looking at Stefan V's website with his rather extensive and detailed programs with their unique user interface techniques and complex calculation algorithms, gives me the feeling that the 35S' shortfalls can be compensated for and even overcome to produce a library of programs that are purely genius and resourceful.

Granted, the 35S is no HP-41 nor HP-97. Plus, yes, I'll agree, HP should've kept the 35S (and 33S for that matter) in R&D for at least another six months and they should've beta-tested it for another six in addition, they should've called in an exterminator too to completely vaporize the bugs. But, why all the dislike for the 35S?


Edited: 20 Apr 2012, 2:50 p.m.


#9

1. Bugs. Really bad one in the solver. See bug #14.

2. And other bugs. Lots of annoying bugs!

3. Stupid stupid Rect-polar paradigm,
4. Really really stupid BASE paradigm
5. Cannot easily decompose complex.
6. Handy one-button functions of 33s are no longer there but in menus.

7. No I/O but gobs of memory. Designed to be approved for NCEES, but all the potential "horsepower" is rather wasted.

8. Many have flaky buttons. I had two of these machines (I've had
at least 5 33s) and a few buttons were flaky in each--not
initially, but after a time).

It is really very simple: we all already have cool antique legacy machines with great buttons and even better mojo. We already either know how to program them, or find it interesting to learn how to do that. The 35s becomes a "what's the point--I would rather put my efforts into learning either a classic, or a truly worthy new tool."

That pretty much sums it up.

People like me were very excited by the 33s and even more about the 35s arriving. We all ran out and bought these machines--sometimes even 3 or 4 and gave a few away--and we dug right in with the fun of figuring them out. We had our fun, but now the fun is over. We are more interested in WP34S, or 41CY or CLONIX noVRAM, or 50G ARM programming or SpeedUI on a 48GX etc.


Edited: 20 Apr 2012, 3:39 p.m.

#10

Okay, points taken. Yes, for HP to drop the ball on Rect<-->Polar conversions is truly a major step back. BUT, I think there's one here (app) or on HP's website that does decompose the rectangular and polar components. And, as I've posted here (now in the Message Archives section), a 35S program that decomposes Complex Numbers for values in all four quadrants.

Base conversions--yes, for HP to miss that point was quite uncalled for. A computer company messing up on Base Conversion functionality?! What were they thinking?

Menu-based access to certain function sets--HP got it right with the 42S but, how they lost it when designing the 35S beats me. Forgive me, honestly, although inconvenient in keystroke efficiency and hiding much needed functions in menus, not on the keyboard, I have manages to connect and associate in a straightforward line of thinking. Yes, two steps of awkward menu keystrokes ahead but, the functions are logically inside the relevant menu. Still, the 35S keyboard/function key layout should've gone under extensive case studies & redesigns.

Memory expandability--In this day & age of SD, MicroSD, USB, MiniUSB and MicroUSB capability, it honestly befuddles me why calculators (especially programmable) are not automatically equipped with expansion card support and the functionality/language to implement with it.

As for construction, QC & QA protocols & departments are severely lacking in almost every field and I'm shocked that from the company that designed stellar calculators like the 41, 67, 35, 29C and even the original 15Cs, has uncharacteristically gone the way of producing calculators that fall far short of the integrity, quality and legacy of their majestic predecessors.


Edited: 20 Apr 2012, 6:08 p.m. after one or more responses were posted


#11

Quote:
for HP to drop the ball on Rect<-->Polar conversions is truly a major step back.

Actually, this is the least important one. It is easy to write a short program (we had to do that with the early 33s machines because of a bug!). It is made more annoying by the not fully functioning vector type, which could have accomplished the same thing.

As for the I/O they couldn't have it because of the NCEES.

#12

I've already posted some details of my criticism in the topic "HP 35s - No Firmware Update?":

In my opinion, the exterior of the 35s with its classic touch is "nearly handsome", compared to other current or preceding (33s, 49g...) HP models (not to mention the non-RPN competitors). And, compared to my RPL workhorse, a 50g, the ergonomic design, especially of the keyboard, is several orders of magnitude better (ENTER key, color scheme). But why this horrible display? Is it really too expensive the use two-line dot-matrix, similar to the HP-42S?

In my scientific work with methods of discreet mathematics in theoretical physics, I've currently (nearly exclusively) need for integer calculations (factorization, lcm, gcd...). I have ported some well-proven old programs from my 15C to a 35s, but its very low processing speed (compared to my "back-up" 15C LE) makes this machine unusable for me---beside all bugs and oddities with real and complex arithmetic.

Edited: 20 Apr 2012, 4:22 p.m.


#13

Folks, you're too severe with the 35s. It's a reminescence of the glory days, it's been done from scratch, it shows attention to detail, and it is usable. It may not be the most suitable calc for EEs because of its shortcomings in complex arithmetic, but it can be programmed to be fit for the purpose. My only complaint - and I wonder why nobody mentioned it - is the short battery life. Made me pull out my FX-602P the other day, which needs like 2 cells in 5 years or so. Lighten up, fellows, and be grateful for the 35s!

Andreas


#14

I'm in full agreement. For me, the 35S has quite a bit in its favour as I've mentioned in my OP. And I'll grant you that the 35S does give tribute in very many ways (especially in looks. keyboard style and the key structure itself) to the golden era of HP's handheld inauguration.

#15

Quote:
My only complaint - and I wonder why nobody mentioned it - is the short battery life.
The battsucker issue was mentionned in earlier threads. It should be on the Bug List, too;-)
#16

There are many reasons that most members of the forum do not hold the 35s in high esteem, and the archive is full of discussions on this subject. I had two 35s machines; I gave both away without reservation. It may have a good appearance, but most people here look beyond appearance, they look at performance. In addition to the rotten handling of number bases, my chief complaint was speed of program execution; the 35s was much slower than its predecessor, the 33s. The 33s ran like lightning compared to the 35s. So, although the 35s had more memory, its slower speed was a major turnoff.

Matt, if you want to like it, fine, just don't expect to find many fanboys here.


#17

To me, the 35S is a landmark, as it's the last modern HP calculator I'll be buying. It's most unfortunate that a company that was once held in high esteem for producing the Cadillacs of calculators has now seemingly gone into the rickshaw business.

#18

No problem, Don. But, as with any fully programmable calculator, it's possible, with some clever programming and algorithm development to create routines to compensate for some missing functions.

Edited: 20 Apr 2012, 11:05 p.m.


#19

It is NOT possible to program your way out of inherently buggy firmware!

#20

Yes, I'll agree. And yes, I am quite bewildered as HP's QA/QC team as well as the programmers can't (or do not want to) do what Bill & Dave mandated in '72 with the 35--ordered the bugs be fixed and issue a recall.

Edited: 24 Apr 2012, 12:53 a.m.


#21

I bought an HP35S for daughter to use in the NCEES fundamentals in engineering exam. She normally uses an HP49g+ and was ready to use a TI-30 for the test. As a long-time HP user, I didn't feel I could do that to her :)

I understand how the modern market doesn't really allow a full HP35 style recall, but I do think it's a shame HP hasn't / can't slip a corrected version into the supply chain like they've done with the HP33s and the HP49g+. The HP35S seems like a nice overall design, but I haven't used it enough to suffer from the problems others have so clearly pointed out.

#22

Quote:
In my scientific work with methods of discrete mathematics in theoretical physics, I've currently (nearly exclusively) need for integer calculations (factorization, lcm, gcd...). I have ported some well-proven old programs from my 15C to a 35s, but its very low processing speed (compared to my "back-up" 15C LE) makes this machine unusable for me---beside all bugs and oddities with real and complex arithmetic.

FYI, all those functions are feature on the WP 34S. And some beta testing also in this area is appreciated ... TIA
#23

I agree, despite the bugs I still use the 35s. The only bug that's really been a problem for me is the program size & checksum (you're never really sure you'e typed in long programs correctly).

#24

It was fun to program when I first got it. Since diving in with the 34S it's in the box with my other nice-to-have but never-used collectibles.

#25

For all the reasons others have mentioned. To my eyes it is a well styled package but there are too many design errors and bugs, all of which HP could have rectified - but didn't! A Mark II version would have restored a lot of faith. Sad.

#26

Don't worry, you'll be throwing it across the room as soon as you lose all the memory to the famous infinite loop bug.


#27

Quote:
Don't worry, you'll be throwing it across the room as soon as you lose all the memory to the famous infinite loop bug.

Exactly. Since 2011, when it happened the second time, my 35S lives retired in my calculator cabinet, together with really classic items I only own for collection. Will never use again a HP-35S for daily work!


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