I think we all know that HP's 30b is quite a fast calculator. This is also documented in the calculator benchmark on this site. According to the test using a program that solves the N-queens problem, the 30b is 20-30x faster than the 35s, and the 34s (using the 30b hardware) runs that program even more than 100x faster than the 35s. So far, so good.

I recently acquired two 30b calculators. One of them still runs its original firmware, the other has become a 34s. Here is what I noticed:

- The 30b is
*really*fast. I tried some statistical distributions and their inverses (quantile functions). The results are returned*instantly*(!) as you browse through the functions catalog. It's essentially the same as using the 34s conversions: the upper line shows the function name, the lower line simultaneously shows the result. As you realize the desired function is selected, the result is already there.The same happens with iterative calculations like determining the interest rate of a TVM problem or in a cashflow analysis. The result appears virtually instantly as you press the key.

- Now I tried the same thing on a 34s. Both the Normal CDF as well as the quantile function may require up to two seconds. In a similar way the TVM solver may run for several seconds before a result is displayed. The student quantile may even require five or ten seconds.
- Finally, I used my 35s with its program for the Normal distribution. With a similar approach (two iterations), the quantile requires at most 15 seconds. Since the 34s seems to run 100+ times faster, I would have expected a result within a fraction of a second, similar to a log or trig function on a classic HP. However, the 34s Q
^{-1}function may take up to full two seconds.

Dieter