Another 33 review



#2

I finally found a new HP 33s for sale and purchased it for $65.00. I was expecting to be disappointed after the commentary I read here, but I was desperate to get an RPN calculator that I could use on the upcoming prof. Engineers exam, since the 48’s are now illegal (kiss my engineering butt NCEES).

I have spent some time with this thing now and I can comfortably say this is a good calculator. It is very reminiscent of my old 32 (before I ran it through the washing machine).

The key layout is admittedly a little bit goofy but does not particularly bother me. The decimal is small but this does not cause me problems. The only other complaint so far is the location of the entry key (this has been mentioned by others). I’m getting used to that now as well, its not a bad place for it, its just different than my 48 and takes some getting used to. Its also only half of the size it used to be. Oh yeah, they also removed the swap function for the stack, which is slightly irritating. There appear to be other ways to manipulate it though so I will figure that out.

I like the two line display a lot, big improvement over the old 32 in my opinion. I also appreciate how they have put the left and right parentheses under separate keys, unlike the 48 where you had to select both right and left perens and delete the one you weren’t ready for when editing in the middle of an equation. Everything else seems pretty straightforward. The buttons feel great, as good as those on my 48 and way better than anything put out by Casio, TI, Sharp et all. Construction feels good and solid and the manual seems adequate (although slightly dumbed down).

The very best thing about it is that it still smells like new HP’s did right out of the box. I don’t know why but I have great associations with that smell. Anybody else notice that?

Anyway, they also had the new 49 on sale there and it looked pretty good to me. I have to find a good reason to buy that though and my 48 shows no signs of giving up soon. I feel hopeful about HP calculators again. Perhaps they did drop the ball for a bit but they were so far ahead of everybody else that people are still catching up. Measured against their old products, this first new generation seems pretty good to me. There is still room to improve, but compared to everything else out there that I have tried, their calcs are still the best.

Kirk


#3

Kirk wrote: "Oh yeah, they also removed the swap function for the stack, which is slightly irritating."

I don't have a 33s, but I believe that the SWAP on the 48 is the same as the "x<>y" key on the 33s.


#4

Thanks John,

I found that last night. It appears they have changed the names of several functions that essentially do the same thing.

Kirk


#5

"x<>y" is actually the key name from some of the older RPN models. I don't recall seeing SWAP until the RPL models came along.


#6

Hey, I was going to say that!!

Seriously, Wayne, I too do not recall seeing SWAP until the RPL calcs came out. It was always x<>y on the older calcs.

Take care.

Wayne.

#7

It took me a while to find it on my 48GX, too.

But, why oh why did they make it a shifted function?!?! Of all the keys I use every day, x<>y (or SWAP) is one of the most common - typically more than trig or log/exp. Now it takes an extra key press. Not very efficient.


#8

Actually, the HP Museum Site explains when and why the change from x<>y to SWAP occured in its explanation of RPL. It says:

"Stack Size Limited Only By Memory ...

The large stack requires a new labeling scheme so level 1 replaces what used to be called X, level 2 replaces Y etc. SWAP replaces X<>Y, LAST replaces LAST X, DROP effectively replaces CLX and additional stack manipulation commands were added. "

for the full explanation on RPL go to the following link: http://www.hpmuseum.org/rpl.htm

PS Thanks Dave!

#9

Quote:
But, why oh why did they make it a shifted function?!?! Of all the keys I use every day, x<>y (or SWAP) is one of the most common - typically more than trig or log/exp. Now it takes an extra key press. Not very efficient.

SWAP is available on the 48GX without having to press [left-shift] in most of the situations where you'd want it. For example, try:

1 [Enter] 2 [Enter]

Now press the right-arrow key, and you'll see levels 1 and 2 of the stack swap. You only need to press the [left-shift] key to get to SWAP when you're in some editing mode, e.g. entering a program.

Best,

--- Les Bell, RHCE, CISSP

[http://wwww.lesbell.com.au]

#10

The 33S has X<>Y as an unshifted function.

On the 48/49 series, the SWAP function is performed in RPN mode by pressing the right-arrow key.

No shift needed.

One less keystroke!
:-)
Gene


#11

Les & Gene,

Thanks! I've learned my something new for today. Someday I need to finish wading through that 400 page User's Guide!


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