Am I too sensitive?


I've been collecting HP calculators since 1983. My collection (RPN scientifics) is complete, except for variations like a red dot 35. Recently I've been acquiring 41 accessories, like the cool HP-IL digital cassette drive.

I have one cassette for this drive. As we all know, nothing except a real HP cassette will work. I'd really like to have a couple more cassettes in case this one fails.

I see on the sale boards here that someone has a friend with a large cache of these cassettes that they're willing to sell in 10 packs. That's more than I want or need, but beggars can't be choosy, right? I know the cassettes are almost impossible to find.

Well, I guess they can. In response to an e-mail asking for price, I find the price for one 10 pack is $600, although if I buy two, I can get the second pack for a mere $300.

My reply was brief, and (I think to my credit) did not directly insult the sender or use any swear words. Basically I said I wasn't interested.

I dunno-- the Libertarian part of me thinks if they can get that much, more power to them. The HP collector part is kinda pissed off.

Am I too sensitive?


It's O.K. to be pissed off, even though you recognize the proximate cause (i.e., an irritating individual) is acting in a manner roughly consistent with your own philosophical beliefs. (After all, what kind of philosophy is it which simply holds "That is o.k. which doesn't cause me any discomfort"?)

Yes, it's unfortunate that "the market" as a whole will sometimes offer more for a desired item than a particular individual can justify. We can believe in the overall utility of letting supply and demand work, even while being occasionally stung by its effects in an arena of personal interest . . .

What seems unfair is that the seller is restricting supply by offering only batches of ten at what is probably a higher price than s/he would obtain were s/he to make them available in smaller quantities. But of course the seller needn't have made his/her supply of cassettes available at all, and you'd be no better off than you are now (except, perhaps, blissfully ignorant of their ready availability at an exhorbitant rate).

Bummer. Looks like you get to either get entrepreneurial (buy ten and try to sell a few to recoup some of your investment) or stay a careful buyer (wait and/or find another source of supply).


has too much money. Prices shouldn't be over about $30 for new tapes.

You should be able to find bad tapes just to get the cartridge. Then for about $1 buy a new tape and change the tape media. Punch a couple of holes and you are in business for about $5.00

If you need a bad cartridge to respool, let me know and I'll send you one.

PS: Seller of the tapes. No need to reply to my email, if they are $600 per 10. Don't need anything that bad.

Edited: 9 June 2003, 2:22 p.m.




I remember lots of past threads with this issue: I once expressed my frustration with re-sellers who buy up everything they can only to re-sell at higher prices. It's great for profit, but bad for poorer collectors. (Even with some spendable income, there's a big difference establishing a collection of $30 calculators and $300 calculators.

Frustrating, but reality. Different goals. Both legit.

Only positive: my humble collection keeps going up in value.....though I'm not ready to sell them off yet. (They're... as Luiz says.... "my babies"....)

No, David, you're not being too sensitive. Just facing this now-becoming-age-old frustration.



My first thought (as a user, rather than a collector) is that I've picked up 3 HP9114s for less than $600 total. The 9114 takes relatively easy-to-find 3.5" disks (the 720K DD type), and is a better bet for actually storing programs/data
My second thought is that these tapes decay in storage anyway. The pressure pads certainly fail, and the bond between the tape and the leader also sometimes separates. Both these problems can be cured (I wrote an article about it in 'Datafile', the HPCC journal), but
in any case, I'd not want to pay $60 per tape for something that needs repairing.
I have a few, a very few (like about 5) of these tapes that are not in use (and AFAIK have never been used). I don't want to part with them, since I still use the 82161 sometimes, but if anyone _really_ needs one (as in, they have no other tape) and has something interesting to trade, then I might consider trading them. And I won't expect something worth $60 per tape either!


to heck with the cassettes,
ask this Mr. Ramsey to send you a picture of his
calculator collection. You will be most envious.

As to the greed thing, the seller sounds a bit greedy, certainly unhelpful. In his defense, it is impractical to just 'give stuff away' to try to be nice to people, but at the other end of the spectrum, greed should be kept down to a dull roar, and focus a little more on whether people are finding the right buyer for the merchandise (i.e. does somebody have a decent use for this thing).

That effect may seem subtle, but say I have a 32Sii to offload, and some guy who is just going to throw it in a file cabinet and never touch it will pay $250, but some starving college student who wishes to continue the HP tradition can only pay $199 . If I can get their respective stories straight, I'd go with the student for $199.

of course, its pretty hard to judge somebody else's need, that's why there is a marketplace with simple price tags attached.

If you bump into a seller who has triple-dosed on greed and wants you to pay his retirement, just smile and move on to another seller.


Yeah, 60 bucks a tape is just way too much. You can often find a drive with a tape or two on Ebay for under that amount. And newish tapes have been bringing around $20 lately, used ones $10-$15.

Everyone needs to have the tape drive and some tapes as part of a collection or for demonstration, but the 9114 disk drive is a whole lot better for actual use... and lately they have been going for under $100.


Well, a fello who saw this thread has offered to sell me some new tapes in the $20/each range, so it's a happy ending for me.

I'll keep an eye out for a 9114 drive!


Old tape are often very unreliable. Just be sure you are getting good or new tapes for $20 each. I have more bad tapes than good tapes. Bad tapes are a dime a dozen.


Hey, Michel;

I think many of your doubts are exposed, some answered, in here. A lot better than I could. And I think this is the best chance to ask for help...

Please, send me your last two e-mails again, because it seems I lost them. I could not open any of them again and I do not remember their contents quite well, and I know you may not even have their texts.

Thank you and sorry... As it is somewhat private, if you want to remove this post use the password 12345.

Luiz C. Vieira - Brazil


I see there is a bloke down here who has the 9865a Drive for sale ... $25 Aud is about $14 US I dont know if he is willing to ship OS though

Richard Freeman


The 9865A is a tape drive for the 9800 series of desktop calculator/computers. I wonder if it would work with my 9825A? I was unable to find any pictures of you know how it connects?


Sorry I dont know anything about it either just that Charles had it listed for sale.
I was tempted to buy it on spec but I dont have any use for it at the moment and thought I would mention it here in case anyone here did...

Richard Freeman

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