33s's Available at HP SMB site


Just saw that HP's SMB site URL below has the 33s's available at $49.99!





I got two of them!

I can't wait to sell them a year from now for $500 each on eBay!


do you realy think they will go for that much because if that is so why not buy more than two

Edited: 20 Apr 2004, 2:15 p.m.


There's a difference between spiteful and greedy. I want two of them for the October P.E. I prefer my HP-28S, though, and once it conks out I'm going to use a PDA running an emulator.

I would offer them up on eBay for a ridiculous sum purely out of spite. A beat-up HP32-SII is going for $167.50 right now on eBay. I despise speculator-collectors and by gosh they're going to pay my price the next time around! Of course, that's half the price Amazon is offering them for...

There is no need for me to purchase, say, a hundred 33s'. Sure, if I sold 'em for $100 a piece to desperate EIT-takers I have a chance of making a nice profit. On the other hand, they may sit in my house for years and years because NCEES came to their senses and allowed anyone to use anything that can be resonably considered a calculator.


Thanks for the heads-up Hp Lover. I looked at HP's web site last night and they had not yet added the 33s. I thought that it was strange that they had never sold nor even advertised this model on their site yet it was available for sale from other sources.

Also, I find it interesting that HP is using the 6502 CPU. TI is using the Motorola 68000 and Zilog Z80 CPU's in some of their calculators. These handhelds are using these CPU's 15 - 20 years after they were used to run microcomputers.

For more information on the 6502 see:




Where did you find a reference about the 6502? I thought they were using an ARM cpu. Must have misunderstood something in your post.


Hi Andreas, this is where I saw reference to the use of the 6502 in the 33s:




Actually it's a microcontroller based on the 6502.

It's a Sunplus SPDxxxx (forgot the actual #).

It has RAM, mask ROM, GPIO/LCD port, maybe a serial port IIRC, and a timer. Prob equivalent to a collection of chips that was in a Commodore PET or VIC20 (except for video controller) but may run at a faster clock than the orig 1MHz on Commodore/Apple/Atari home computers of early 1980s.

Has plenty of horsepower to run a decent calculator - or even a software emulation of a prior calc architecture (i.e., a Saturn CPU emulation layer running on a 6502 native engine).

Sunplus has quite a few 6502 variants. Some cut down the instruction set (Y register use?) for simpler tiny/ultra-low-cost apps like mouse controllers.

Bill Wiese

San Jose CA USA


Here's a few CPU-to-Calculator associations I know about:

  6502 -- HP-33s
ARM -- HP-49G+, HP-48Gii (& others?)

Z-80 -- TI-83 line
M68000 -- TI-89 & derivatives

(Note I don't mention the Saturn! Maybe someone would like to expand this list.)


An odd (if somewhat irrelevant) one :

Motorola 6800 -- HP9815

(No I don't mean 68000). I think this is perhaps the only example of a classic HP desktop calculator that used an off-the-shelf CPU.


Thank you, that's very interesting. I wouldn't have thought that the 6502 made it through the times and is still alive. I must have written thousands of assembler lines for this neat cpu.


that's very interesting. I wouldn't have thought that the 6502 made it through the times and is still alive. I must have written thousands of assembler lines for this neat cpu.

6502-flavor CPUs are all over the place, primarily in embedded microcontroller form (that is, with RAM/ROM/timer and I/O all on one chip). Sunplus is one vendor, I think Winbond is another.

Many, many modem chipsets use 6502s as their controller (the part that parses the Hayes 'AT DT nnnn' commands if they don't use host controller setups (which I hate).

Some of my Icom ham radio gear uses Mitsubishi M57000 chips which are 65C02 flavor microcontrollers.

1990s US Mitsubishi cars use, of course, Mitsubishi 6502 flavor CPUs in their engine control units (ECU; controls fuel injection & spark timing). Also some mid-to-late 1990s lower-priced Nissan automobiles in the USA used a Mitsubishi 65C02 CPU variant in their ECU. (Maybe it was a 16-bit 65816, can't remember now...)

That means there's gonna be 6502-flavored CPUs in lots of Mitsubishi TV sets, VCRs, remote controls, etc.

6502 was fun to program.

Bill Wiese

San Jose CA


Keyboard Input Monitor 1. What a toy!

Now THAT's what I'd like to see in an "Open calculator" project -- essentially a fast KIM-1 in a quality calculator case, with scads of RAM, Flash ROM and I/O -- a handheld techno-canvas upon which to paint one's hobby masterpiece(s) . . .

Edited: 22 Apr 2004, 12:01 p.m.


Not only do I remember the KIM-1 (from Commodore's captive MOS Technology chip co), I remember its predecessor from which it was cloned, the SYM-1 from Synertek.

Synertek & Rockwell were other big producers of 6502 family chips beside MOS Technology, who primarily made chips for Commodore.

Do you remember the Rockwell AIM-65? Had a real KB, single line VFD display, a good BASIC, Forth and ROM assembler.
Lusted after one in high school. Really should pick one up!

Bill Wiese

San Jose CA USA


KIM came before SYM.

I had KIM-1 serial number 24. Turned it into a serial interface to an Analex 600 line/minute printer from a CDC-1604. This was then used on an EAI-640 hybrid computer.

Remember MicroChess... a fairly decent early chess program that ran on a standard 1K KIM-1. I still have that around somewhere.

And another thing... back in the good ole days one could see his bits. Round bits in paper tape. Square bits in cards. Torrodial bits on boardse. Now thems were bits... none of todays leaky capacitor invisibits.


There are Elf emulators in the web...The CMOS 1802 was my favorite and it allowed for "continuous memory" designs.


And then there was the Fairchild F8 (which wound up as the Mostek 3870). A hideously slow and bizzare machine. The instruction set was rather byte-efficent though. Marginally more fun to program than the RCA 1802 and the Intel 8008.


I remember articles in BYTE magazine (I think) about the development of the Motorola 6809. It impressed me as having an exceptionally logical, symmetrical instruction set. I believe it's the cpu that was used in the Radio Shack Color Computer.

Does the 6809 live on in any form?

I also remember the Texas Instruments TMS 9900 (used in the TI 99-4A home computer) as an elegantly-architected 16-bit cpu. (The "registers" were actually in memory, right?) I wonder if it is still in use?

For a KIM-1-style device, working at the assembler (or lower) level, it would be nice to have a logical, easy-to-remember instruction set without a lot of quirks & exceptions. (For example, if I remember right, certain features of the 6502's indirect addressing applied only to certain registers and not to others, right?)



"I remember articles in BYTE magazine (I think) about the development of the Motorola 6809. It impressed me as having an exceptionally logical, symmetrical instruction set. I believe it's the cpu that was used in the Radio Shack Color Computer."

I think I have these articles (at least some of them perhaps Byte Jan and Feb 79). I may scan them for you, if you are interested and if that causes no problems to anyone.
True, the 6809 was used in the TRS-80 CC.

About instruction set: Multiply and Divide instructions were welcomed news!


"I also remember the Texas Instruments TMS 9900 (used in the TI 99-4A home computer) as an elegantly-architected 16-bit cpu. (The "registers" were actually in memory, right?)"

Right. A register in the CPU just pointed to the "registers block" in RAM, because silicon real state was too scarce for a 16 bit CPU... Context switching was, well, fast!

Do you remember the Logo Turtles in the TI 99/4 ? :-)


Actually it wasn't lack of on CPU space that caused the TMS9900 to have off chip registers. The design was so it could to fast interrupt processing. More so, fast multiple interrupt processing. I remember you could code for interrupts within interrupts each with their own full register set effectively preserving machine state from interrupt to interrupt. It was a great processor for real-time processing.

Also, I loved the KIM-1. It was the first microprocessor I learned programming on. Actually taught myself so I could serve as a lab instructor for a new course at University. You could do quite a bit with the board and some extra chips.


Actually it wasn't lack of on CPU space that caused the TMS9900 to have off chip registers. The design was so it could to fast interrupt processing.

Actually if you the published interviews with the designers, keeping the silicon area down was in fact an important reason for the off-chip registers. The fast interrupt (or context switch) was a nice side effect, although since it came at the cost of making all instructions slower, it's not clear that it was really a very good tradeoff.

The team that developed the 9900 originally had something much more impressive in mind, but found that it was going to be too big for cost-effective fabrication using the technology available at the time.


Regarding the TMS9900:

Context switching was, well, fast!

Sure, but at the cost that everything else was slow, since everything that would be a simple internal register access in a normal processor became a slower external memory reference.

It was a nice architecture, and this was an interesting tradeoff, but the performance wasn't competitive when other 16-bit microprocessors showed up. TI was also unable to get the enhanced versions they needed to compete completed and onto the market quickly enough.

IIRC, the 99000 was to have an on-chip cache of the register window, which would have helped a lot. Of course, flushing dirty register cache entries would have lost some of that fast context switch advantage, but the general speedup would have more than made up for it.


> Does the 6809 live on in any form?

The 6800 family has progressed a lot-- not so much in speed as the 65 family has, but in microcontrollers with a lot of nice features. (See the 68HC11 family.)

> (For example, if I remember right, certain features of the 6502's indirect addressing applied only to certain registers and not to others, right?)

<end quote> Some of the indexed indirect and indirect indexed instructions' operands are only one byte, meaning that first you refer to an address in zero page. Others like JMP(addr) (an indirect) or JMP(addr,X) (an indexed indirect) have 16-bit operands to start with any address in the 64KB space. The 6502's zero page (addresses 0000-00FF) are basically 256 processor registers, and they offer more flexibility and can can be accessed faster than the rest of the memory map. It's part of what gives the 6502 a surprisingly high power-to-complexity ratio.

The to follow the 6800 to 6809 progression in the 65 family would be kind of like going from the 6502 to the 65816. Actually the '816 takes the progression a lot further. It has 16-bit accumulator and index registers, and a 16MB address space. The "zero page" is now called "direct page" because it can be moved around to anywhere in the first 64KB of address space instead of being stuck in page 0. The '816 has extra instructions and features that make it more suitable for relocatable code, multitasking, and other things, without really giving up the simplicity.

The TI 8-bitters were all very poor in performance as far as I know. Even the TMS370 has a minimum interrupt latency that's almost ten times as slow as the 65c02's-- 3 microseconds for the TMS370, versus 0.35 for the 65c02, both running at 20MHz. (Actually, with a certain trick, the 65c02's minimum is only a little over .05us (50 nanoseconds) at 20MHz, but you can't do that for every interrupt.

The 1802 someone else referred to had certain advantages in its time which made it a good choice in some spacecraft and low-power applications. It was one of the first CMOS processors and rad-hard. It had enough onboard registers that for some tiny applications you didn't have to use any external RAM. It was slow as molasses in January though.

Edited: 24 Apr 2004, 2:08 a.m.


There are 42 of these learning modules available, written by Wlodek and me.

Enjoy! Perhaps these will be of some help!





Gene Wright


Hi, Gene; are you well?

I sent you an e-mail sometime ago (about a month). Did you receive it? If not, let me know.


Luiz (Brazil)

(sorry, folks...)


Are there similar tutorials available for the older calculators? specifically 10c, 11c, 15c, 21s, 28s, 32s, 32sii


No, these are only available for new units being sold by HP since last year.

I'm not aware of anything similar from HP for calculators that have been discontinued for such a long time.


I got my 33S today. I've pre-ordered it in Oct 2003! I like the futuristic design, and the V keyboard is no problem for me. But the small decimal point is really annoying. I've to pay CHF 129.- for it, which is nearly twice as much as the 33S costs in the US! :(

Regards from Switzerland,


In a recent trip to Europe I noticed (in Gallery Lafyatte in the Cap 3000 mall near Nice) that graphics and programmable calculators seem to be trice the price in the USA.


"But the small decimal point is really annoying."

Small decimal points on the 33s and 9s begs the question - "How many Kinpo Electronics calculator decimal points can you fit on the head of a pin"?



We should suggest to HP to include this calculation as a sample in the manual...


The equation of state for decimals and angels is: 1 ENTER 0 DIVIDE


Maybe H-P/Kinpo was just trying to make it more "educational" by more closely approximating the theoretical definition of a "point" (that is, a dimensionless location on the LCD plane) with the smallest pixel possible?


..the decimal point on the 33s is about 1/2 the size of a regular pixel from the 33s-Digits (using MODE 4).

Just to compare: My 42s uses a 4 pixels square as a decimal point, so it is about 5 times bigger !!!

They could have tried to use some pixels(wasting one digit) in the 33s display, too(maybe future versions will??). I can't think of normal reasons that they have left it like this, HP must have had some good reasons (probably not do delay it's release anylonger).

Additionally, the shadows from the LCD-digits on the display makes it even more difficult to recognize the decimal point and the digits, too.

But we can't expect everything at once, can we :-)
I'm happy with the keyboard and some other features,
but compared with the 42s programming is annoying(->labels).
I'm glad the 33s is only for spare since we've still
got the permission to use the 42s :-)

*** HP43s is comming - in my dreams ***

1633424849 to delete

Edited: 25 Apr 2004, 4:23 p.m.


Qoute "I'm glad the 33s is only for spare since we've still got the permission to use the 42s :-)"

Permission to use the 42s where? School? Because the NCEES specifically bans the 42s for its exams. Just a bit of information for you (as well as the 41 C or any derivitive thereof).


You are in Switzerland, yes? What is with the "permission" to use a 42s?


I should better say: it's not prohibited until now, I'm the only one who is using
a HP 42s. All the others use TI.

BTW I'm just in a one year preparation study (TBM) for the engineering school I'm (hoply) going to start with in oktober. The preparation is very usual in Switzerland and get's more and more popular.. I'm not familar with other country's engingeering school/university-system. The "PE" study will take me 3 years in Switzerland if I do it full-time and 4 years if I only go to school in the evenings,friday and eventually saturday. I prefer 3 years.

They're calc rule says:
- battery powered
- no printing ability (the 42s has, but only in combination with a printer)

not so long ago, they've also added:
- no graphic ability (because some students thought they had a disadvantage because they coulnd't afford a Graphic)
- max. 2 line-display

Regards, Robin

1234567890 to delete


Hi HP Lover,

Thanks for the tip! I was scrolling through the forum, and by chance, I just noticed a previous post from HP Lover. It is this one : Re: Where is the 33S .

Because the post says "thanks for such interest!", it seems that HP Lover is associated with HP. As far as I'm concerned, that's great! The more HP folks that read these messages (and respond to our desires that HP return to calculator supremacy by leading and not following the competition) the better!

A funny thing I noticed at your smb link above, is that the web designer got ahead of the proof reader. The following two comments (in parentheses) probably weren't supposed to make it to the product description:

"your choice of RPN (please link to RPN page)"

"reducing the number of keystrokes. (NOTE: Please add link to RPN on “RPN” text)"

Thanks again for the notification,


ps. Everyone: don't forget to use the $9.99 rebate that is in the fine print on the free Business 2.0 subscription flyer (inside the 33S package).


Press Release

Now I know why it is twice as expensive in Switzerland than in the US: sales taxes and shipping.


Quote from the HP33S press release:

"The predecessor to the HP 33s calculator, the HP 32sII, was extremely popular. Of all the calculators that we have made, the HP 32sII has been the one most mentioned by name by our customers," said Fred Valdez, general manager, calculators, Personal Systems Group, HP".

Most mentioned? IF (and this is a big IF) this is so, there should be hope for a 43S (a much asked for 42S successor)!


When I paste the link (www.hp.com/buy/hpcalculators) into my browser I get the following message from HP:

"This function is temporarily unavailable.
Our Support Staff has been notified and we expect the site to be available shortly. If you need immediate assistance please call 1-800-607-3567.

Thank you for your patience."

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