Wal-Mart's new "Release Date" for the HP-33s



#35

Just got an email from WalMart.com regarding my HP-33s order:

DESCRIPTION
------------------------------------------------------
HP 33s Programmable Scientific Calculator
Original release date : 01 FEB 2004
New release date : 15 FEB 2004

FYI . . .


#36

"Good things come to those who wait."

Seems that this is the new HP slogan. I really hope it applies to the 33S - and to all the other calculators in the queue ;-)

#37

It's been kind of fun watching the 33S on walmart.com. It appears for a few days accepting pre-orders. Then it disappears from the website for a few days. Then it comes back, but it's listed as "out of stock" and you can't order it. Then it disappears again. And on, and on.

I wonder how many additional two-week delays there will be!

sjthomas

#38

The 33s is far from the first model to be made outside the US. Pioneers rock, and they were all made in Singapore, yes? (cmiir) In the case of the 33s though, they're trying to combine features that people actually want (e.g. rpn) with an OEM branding strategy. Let's see, if the units were made in the US, HP would have *direct* control over the manufacturing. Seems to me Kinpo is giving HP the runaround a little bit. Even if the 33s were a Pioneer design without the crappy keyboard, HP still has to get the supply chain going. Target, walmart, kmart, costco, and the rest already sell Casio and TI. Why risk putting HP on the shelves? Big buisness doesn't like risk. Don't be surpirsed if HP finally resigns to pulling the 33s altogether. Only students will purchase the 33s in numbers acceptable to HP. They are not making it for collectors, nor for the tech community. I'm not spending us$50 on the 33s when i have Bowmar 4 bangers for coolness, 28s for play/heavy lifting, TI's, Casios, blah blah. I bought the 30s for $6. garbage. Sorry to sound like a wet blanket.

heh heh, the hp website read 'ASSESS' just now and i read it wrong.
-Ned


#39

<< Only students will purchase the 33s in numbers acceptable to HP. >>

The 33S is designed for the student market. So are the 48GII and the 49G+. Same goes for the 9G, 9S, and 30S. Also the TI 83, 84, 89, and Voyage 2000, and all Casio and Sharp scientific and graphing models.

That's because the student market is the only one that counts any more. Professionals have ready access to PCs at work and at home; they don't rely on calculators the way they did years ago. Only students still use calculators as their primary number-crunching tools.

<< Don't be surpirsed if HP finally resigns to pulling the 33s altogether. >>

Sadly, I wouldn't be surprised if HP gives up on scientific and graphing calculators altogether. TI is too well entrenched in the educational market for the 33S, 48GII, and 49G+ to make an impact.

<< They are not making it for collectors, nor for the tech community. >>

Of course not. HP isn't making anything for collectors or for the tech community. Collectors have never been a significant market. The tech community used to be a very important calculator market, but is not anymore due to the ubiquity of PCs. If you walk through an engineering office or science lab today, you don't see calculators on the desks. You see PCs.

There is one group of tech professionals that can use the 33S: RPN users seeking professional licensure in engineering or surveying. HP48s, 49s, and PCs are all banned in the NCEES exams, so the 33S may become an attractive option by default (assuming HP can actually bring it to market). So there actually is some demand for the 33S in the tech community, although I doubt HP was planning for this. The 33S was in development before NCEES announced their current calculator policies.


#40

Then why do you even care or comment on it? Go to the Excel museum website! Me? I still use a calculator.


#41

Actually we just bought Risa Floor and Risa 3d in our office (structural eng), but the engineer who made the decision to purchase also has a 11c and 32s on his desk.

To be fair, the 33s is a nice unit considering the features. Swap, CHS, and 1/x are all up front. Looking forward to the 'pro' reviews.

#42

<< Then why do you even care or comment on it? Go to the Excel museum website! Me? I still use a calculator. >>

I also use and enjoy calculators, especially classic HPs. And I am currently involved with NCEES licensure exams, so I have a particular interest in the 33S.

But I can see the handwriting on the wall. Here’s what it says:

(1) The only large market for powerful calculators today is in education.

(2) HP is a large corporation, and only wants to pursue large markets.

(3) HP is therefore seeking to compete in the education market. To do so, HP has taken classic calculator designs (the 32SII and the 48G) and redesigned them as cheaply as possible, with metallic colors, funky keyboards, algebraic mode, and lower manufacturing quality. To be fair, HP has added some desirable features too, like the 2-line display of the 33S, or the larger memory and CAS of the 49.

(4) There is probably still a market for powerful high-quality professional calculators -- the problem is that it’s too small for HP to care about. The only way that old classics (like the 15C or 42S) will be revived, or that new classics will be developed in the future, is if another company (probably a small one) takes the lead. HP would probably be happy to sell off its entire calculator division, including the rights to all historic models, to some calculator-loving entrepreneur for the right price. The open-source approach, which has been discussed here recently, is another possible alternative.

There's not really an Excel museum on the web, is there ?


#43

How are you involved with the NCEES exams? Hopefully not with their calculator policy.

Anyway...

The 33s looks like an ugly alternative for those who can't find a 32sii, but why didn't they add matrices and better support for complex numbers?

I can't even think of an NCEES approved calculator that does. (I'm sure they'll ban the 28 series before april.


#44

If the Calculator has text editing OR communication capability, it is already banned. They aren't going to attempt a full list. A friend here at the office thought maybe he could use a TI 82 because it wasn't on the list. Wrong.

#45

<< How are you involved with the NCEES exams? Hopefully not with their calculator policy.>>

I recently applied to take an NCEES exam in April. I am a victim of their calculator policy, because I was planning to use a 48GX. Fortunately I was able to buy the last 32SII in town, but I am looking at the 33S as well.

<<The 33s looks like an ugly alternative for those who can't find a 32sii, but why didn't they add matrices and better support for complex numbers?

Because they simply copied the 32SII firmware with as few changes as possible. The really pathetic thing is that the 33S only has about 26 labels and variables, just like the 32SII. The 33S has 31KB of memory, but it may be hard to use more than 1-2KB effectively.

<<I can't even think of an NCEES approved calculator that does. (I'm sure they'll ban the 28 series before april.)>>

If you mean matrices, the 32SII and 33S are legal, and the manuals include a program for matrices. The 15C is still legal (if you can find one) and has nice support for both matrices and complex numbers. The 28 is indeed likely to be banned due to text capability and IR output.


#46

You found a 32SII on the shelf somewhere??
What store was that??


#47

I got lucky. Immediately after the NCEES calc ban was announced, in late August 2003, I checked the local junior college bookstore, and found one last 32SII for sale. I live in a relatively isolated corner of the country, where farmers outnumber engineers. That's probably why it was still on the shelf.

I was so pleased to get it that I picked up a 20S as well. It's not RPN, but nice otherwise.

#48

<< If you walk through an engineering office or science lab today, you don't see calculators on the desks. You see PCs.>>

I disagree. True, you see PCs everywhere, of course, but you also see calculators on *many* desks, and a significant number of them are HPs. Agreed, it's probably the desks of people my age, not the younger generation, however, I'm not even sure about this.

My trusty HP-48SX will always stay on my desk. It's often easier to quickly take out and do a simple (or sometimes not so simple) calculation than starting up a dedicated program.

Cheers, Victor


#49

<< I disagree. True, you see PCs everywhere, of course, but you also see calculators on *many* desks, and a significant number of them are HPs. Agreed, it's probably the desks of people my age, not the younger generation, however, I'm not even sure about this. >>

OK, I exaggerate. But I think it's true that the desks with powerful calculators tend to be occupied by people older than 40-45. Those people started their careers in the days before PCs were readily available; they were using programmable calculators long before they had a PC. Such people are attached to their calculators, because they formerly relied on calculators as their primary number-crunching tool.

Their younger colleagues, in general, have never relied on calculators to the same extent, and do not share this attachment.

I didn't recognize this contrast until NCEES banned the HP48 and 49 on professional engineering exams. Older engineers were outraged: "How dare they take away my trusty and beloved 48 ?!?" Younger engineers were puzzled: "What's the big deal? You can get another calculator at the drug store for $15".

#50

I have used XCALC (an RPN calculator for Windows) since
Windows 3.1. Its not an HP41, but its small, fast and takes input from the keyboard.

I like using the numeric keypad with XCALC. If you don't need to use fancy operations (e.g. LASTx, X<>Y, etc), you can use the numeric keypad as a four banger.

BTW it can also switch between Decimal, Octal, Hex, and Binary.

Even so, I keep my HP97 on my desk anyway, because I love the way it looks.

**vp

#51

Ugh. A computer is a poor substitute for a calculator, ergonomically and otherwise. I have my 15c with me at all times in the lab, and it served me well for many years in the classroom. You can't carry a computer across the room or down the hall. XCalc is nice in a pinch, but it isn't even 1/3 the calculator that the 15c is.


#52

Quote:
A computer is a poor substitute for a calculator, ergonomically and otherwise.
I totally agree with this.

Here is a question for all those who think the calculator has outlived its time and the computer is the only way to go. You are meeting with a client and the client asks you what the increase in cost a project will be if the new building is increased in size by "X" amount? 1) Are you going to tell this client that you will have to go back to the office and figure the changes and get back with them tomorrow. 2) Pull out your laptop and spend 20 minutes getting it powered up and starting the programs you have all your data in. or 3) Pull out your calculator (that is an instant on device) and bang out an answer in 5 minutes that is +/- a couple percent. Then tell the client that you will have more precise numbers tomorrow, but these will work for the meeting with the bankers in the room next door.

I would be pulling out the calculator because time is money, not only for me but the client as well, whether you are making it or spending it.


#53

You forgot the 4th possibilty (and most impressive):

You figure out the change in your head, or, if not quite fully sharp that day, with pencil and paper.

Of course, you should do it in your head if possible--it shows an awareness of numbers and competency. But if the computations will drag on too long by hand, THAT is precisely why a caclulator can be so nice! (iven if, I daresay, it is part of your mobile phone or PDA :-(

Regards,

Bill


#54

Good of you to catch that. I had thought about paper & pencil either as a separate item or combining it with using the calculator. But between phone calls and other distraction I forgot to add it.

#55

But suppose you already have a construction cost estimating spreadsheet on your laptop. This is a perfectly reasonable assumption; such spreadsheets are readily available commercially, even if you don't know Excel well enough to set up your own.

I don't think it would take 20 minutes to power up the laptop, open the spreadsheet, and punch the data into the relevant cells.

#56

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.gsp?product_id=2388774&cat=126730&type=19&dept=3944&path=0%3A3944%3A3951%3A126265%3A126730

#57

Watch all you like, but please don't buy from Wal Mart.

I don't mind companies being competitive, and even doing some work off-shore. But Wal Mart has been caught too many times violating law and ethics (e.g., locking employees in stores overnight).

Time to send a message to Wal Mart that we don't value them overall. "Always the low price" isn't good enough. Thanks.


#58

Wal Mart sells sledge hammers had has glass doors. Any employee locked in overnight that cannot get out deserves to work for nasty people.


#59

David Smith wrote:
> Wal Mart sells sledge hammers had has glass doors. Any employee locked in overnight
> that cannot get out deserves to work for nasty people.

No need to be so drastic, there are also fire exits that cannot be locked (for fear of invoking the wrath of the local fire chief).

Employees locked in overnight in Wal Mart stored are not there by accident, they clean the store and take care of restocking etc. They are locked in on purpose to deter robberies.

This locking-in is "voluntary" since, as I mentioned above, they can get out. But if they use the fire escape doors, they will be fired.

This is where the facts end and politics begin and I won't go into that.

**vp


#60

All too often, fire exits are locked, blocked, or chained shut... with very tragic consequences. Besides, using one when there is no fire is illegal. Sledge hammers are much more fun and get the point across to management. The doors in my building are all locked after hours, but have one way exit bars.


#61

The U.S. has an underclass. It is essentially hidden from the "middle class". The underclass is carefully controlled--by the powerful organizations that use its members. The underclass has no political voice. The underclass is growing. The underclass is not merely migrant labor. Many in the underclass are members of families who have been citizens of the US (and previously the British Empire) for 300 years.


If you are in the underclass, you do not have many options. Throwing a sledgehammer through your employer's window will land you not only out of a job, but in jail as well, for vandalism. Your meager hopes of rising will then be dashed forever, as no one will hire you, and you will be forced to resort to petty crime. And that is the end of the road--either death or life in prison. What is the purpose of the "3 strikes" rules? To jail all those in the underclass who "misbehave". This sends a powerful message of hate and intolerance, bigotry, intimidation, and the suppression of political freedom.

"America" is not all that it seems.


Edited: 3 Feb 2004, 11:09 a.m.


#62

If you think America has an underclass you should visit... well, any other country on the planet. If WalMart is exploiting their employees then it will eventually catch up to them and their business will suffer. I avoid WalMart because their level of service is terrible (maybe it's because of all the unhappy, exploited employees; like I said, it will catch up to them).

Now, could we please put the brakes on all the anti-capitalism, "America is an eploitative hellhole" garbage and discuss... well, I don't know.. how about HP CALCULATORS??

Does anyone out there have any credible information on a revised release date for the 33S? Regardless of it's assumed shorcomings, its wacky keyboard or its country of manufacture I am going to give it a try. After all, there is nowhere else to go for RPN calculators.

Oh, and I promise not to buy it from WalMart; and if I ever drive by late at night and see some of their employees clawing at the doors trying to get out? Why, I'll break the glass and let them out. After all, I'm part of the powerful "middle-class". They wouldn't dare put me in jail for vandalism... or would they?


#63

I read what happened to Wal Mart's employees. A very terrible situation indeed. Plus too many of them will drown out smaller and/or more specialized businesses (if it hasn't already)

Concerning the HP33: very funky design if I say so myself. All I can say is that with the price of the HP33, you can buy a graphing calculator for that price (I think it is $90, right?). In fact I see the HP48II+ selling for $99-109 now.

#64

I received an email today about my mid-January 33S order. The salient part of that email was:

We're sorry, but as of Feb.1, 2004, we no longer
accept debit cards (also called check cards, ATM cards or
banking cards) if they have a MasterCard logo.

I'm sure I'm not the only person to receive this nice little notification. After being bounced around in various telephone queues, and talking to three different people, I ended up canceling the order. It is rather odd seeing Wal-Mart actually refusing money.

I held my nose when I placed this order to begin with. And yet again, Wal-Mart succeeds in making my shopping experience unpleasant.

Does anyone know of reputable U.S. vendor taking preorders for a reasonable price (i.e. less that MSRP)?


#65

The last time I checked, www.hpcalc.org was taking pre-orders for the HP33S at $55 per calculator. I have had pleasant dealings with them in the past.

Wayne

#66

FWIW, Samson-Cables (www.samsoncables.com) is taking pre-orders at $59.99, but gives the ETA as "March". (The obfuscated saga continues . . . )

For my part, yes it's ugly; no, its increased memory and two-line display may not make up for it; yes, I'll give it a try.


#67

It's the 12th for Sampson cable. Read the text next to the calculator on the web page.

Brent


#68

Is that March 2004 or 2005?


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