I'm rescinding my positive review of the 17BII+


Hello everyone!

Back in January, I wrote a positive review about the HP 17BII+ calculator. Granted, it's no Pioneer, but it's not a bad financial. I like the screen, the keys have a decent feel, and it's fast.

I have a recurring problem with the calculator; I'll take it out of my bag and try to turn it on, and it won't work! I'm forced to reset the calculator; it will then function, however I lose my memory in the process.

I finally decided to call HP support. They told me that this is a "feature" of the calculator to save battery life! Can you believe it?

I didn't get all the details, but if the machine times out and then senses keypresses (or something like that), it "locks up" and requires a reset...this is meant to prevent the calculator from turning itself back on, thereby reducing battery life.

The support tech told me that they've heard through customer feedback that this feature may not be of value to their customers, so they may remove it.

Gee, with features like that, my 17BII+ is more of a doorstop than a calculator. Since when are batteries more important than the data I store in memory? I can just imagine that design meeting. Although it was probably more like a Dilbert cartoon than a design meeting!

Done my rant!
Thanks for listening!


I had the same problem with my HP17BII+ (I still cannot understand why having so many versions registered in the title!). I noticed, however, that the new model of protective cover and the position of the ON key on the keyboard often makes the key to stay pressed for long time inside the cover. Despite the much better quality of the cover in terms of material and style, pressing that key continuously prevents the calculator to turn off automaticaly after some time. Then the device that shuts down the calculator. I left my calc without the cover (or anything that pressed the ON key) for long time and the problem never happened again.

May be this is the idea behind the strange behavior. A problem with the position of the ON key AND a bad cover design.



Do you lose YOUR memory, or does the calculator lose ITS memory.

If you lose YOUR memory, then I suspect HP is lying to you, and that they have snuck (sneaked?) some sort of "neural disruptor" into their calculators; possibly as part of some secret government experiment, or maybe just in an effort to make all of us "old time" HP geeks forget HP's former glory.

If the calculator loses ITS memory, then I suspect HP is telling you the truth, however stupid it may be. It does make me yearn for HP's glory days, though ....

I better turn on the "neural disruptor"

Take care.


PS - ;^)

Edited: 20 May 2004, 8:13 a.m.


That type of thing can play havoc with a calculator.

You could, however, keep your calculator in an anti static bag for a few months to verify that it is an ESD problem. This would be a trivial thing to do and quite conclusive.

Everyone here should remember the mysterious crashes from the old HP41 days.



I've never heard of the 'mysterious crashes from the old HP41 days', and I've used a 41cx for nearly 20 years. I still use it every day. It has never crashed-- not once-- and the only time it gave me the "memory lost" display was when I did something wrong in synthetic programming. So was this crashing thing a problem with earlier 41's?


Are you saying that if we leave the 17bII+ on and let it turn itself off, that if we then press keys OTHER than the ON switch, it will lock-up and not turn on?

Can anyone here duplicate this behavior?


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