Programming help and the 33S


I am a proud (I think) recipient of one of the new HP 33S calculators. I am also sitting for my FLS exam in April. So far I have been using my new calculator for studying as I would any other RPN calc. However, I am intrigued by the ability to program this calculator with some useful formulas that may assist me during the exam. What advice/help could you give to someone who has zero programming experience with HP calculators? Is it a matter of learning on your own how the calculator "thinks" and then attempting to program in the programs you feel might be useful to you (i.e. triangle solutions, volume, curve formulas etc..)? Or is there a more direct route in locating a program that suites your needs that potentially someone has already written or that has similar programming language as an earlier model calc.? I have heard that the 32S uses similar programming routines. Thanks in advance for what otherwise may be a very "novice" post.



I strongly suggest that you code it yourself. You will then be assured that you know and understand what you are doing--which is the whole point of the exam, anyway! And it will stand you in good stead for the future--helping you to grow and be ever more proficient and effective.

That being said, you can learn a lot in terms of techniques by reading other perople's programs---and you can look to more than just the 33s manual for that. Get a copy of the Museum CD (go to the main page). It is a huge resource for relatively little money. It has manuals and handbooks for virtually every older HP. Most of the rpogramming techniques are the same on the 11-c, 15-c, 34-c and indeed even the 65 and 67. (Obviously some of the advanced functions of the 15C are missing-matrices and a complex number stack for instance). Most programs from these older machines transcribe virtually directly to the 32Sii / 33s.

Regarding Equations and the 33s:

The 33s (and 32sii) has a significant advantage over all the previous RPN scientifics: It can handle algebraic equations, as well as RPN keystroke sequences. So for instance, you can go to <eqn> and type

S=0.5 * A * T^2 + V <enter>

(to make letters, you type either <STO> <letter> or <RCL> <letter> )

Then <SOLVE> <variable_letter> and the machine will prompt you for values for all the other variables! It is quite useful!

Edited: 1 Mar 2004, 12:47 p.m.


That being said, you can learn a lot in terms of techniques by reading other perople's programs

Not necessarily true, Bill. It depends on the amount of stack manipulations used by the original programmer (the less stack operations, the easier). And the less "clever" techniques, also the easier. For example, using [%] is a clever way to divide by 100, and it uses less memory than the more natural 100 [/]. But the latter is more easily understood.



Hi Ernie,

You are right about the pitfalls----




Hi Bill,

Surely you meant

S=0.5 * A * T^2 + V * T <enter> ?

Maybe even an S<sub>0 too?

That said, the equation solving feature seems really neat. Someone mentioned this in connection with the radioactive decay equation and how you could solve for any of the quantities.

Maybe I'll have to get my hands on a 33S.

- Michael




The 17bii (and 17bii+) has an equation solver, too---actually way better than the 32sii & 33s---You can actually insert and delete items inside the equations, and use long variable names! And it automatically puts a variable "menu" up on the bottom line----maybe this will be in the next RPN machine!

Of course the 17 series is business only--no trig functions :^{


AFAIK the 27S uses the same eq solver as the 17BII.
Ok, it's only algebraic, no RPN UI.
However, the 27S has trig functions built-in.

For the 17BII trig: You can use the virtual trig fcns from here:



You saved me a search--I was going to look for that!

Best regards,



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