My Find, and a Display problem (long)


Hi, all. I guess I'm officially a "collector" now. Here's my "story," followed by a question.

Our local symphony group recently had a rummage sale. People donated stuff, and all of the proceeds went to the symphony. It supports a hometown group, so I thought, "What the heck. Maybe I'll get lucky and find something there." Well, I think I did. They had all of the usual things you'd expect to find at a GoodWill or other thrift-type store, or local yard sale. Anyway, at the electronics table, they had a few handheld devices sitting on one of the tables, and one of them was banded to a thick book. I might find that unusual, were I not already familiar with TI handhelds, as well as a few of the HP offerings. So I picked it up. The item turns out to be an HP 42S. The whole lot included the calc, HP-logo-embossed leather-type slipcase, and mint condition documentation including the wire-bound user's manual, an "Accessories & Applications" pamphlet, an "Extended Protection Plan" offer, and a card for "Introducting Menus," all of those in mint condition as well. The calc itself was dirty, and had a couple scratches on it, but it looked like it could be cleaned up pretty easily. Couldn't test it there, because there were no batteries, but for the five dollars (!) they were asking for it, I had to take the gamble. Got it home, cleaned it up (it cleaned up rather nicely given it's appearance at the sale), threw three LR44 equivalents in it, and hit the ON button. It lit right up, giving me a memory message. Cleared that out, and started using it. I like it already.

The only problem with it is that it has some black spots on the left side of the LCD, as if the LCD is starting to fail on me. I saw the spots when I bought it, but I took the chance on it anyway. The spots look like small ink drops, and they come right up to the working area of the LCD, but none of the usable screen is obscured. More annoying to look at than anything else. It's a singapore machine, S/N 3022S03456. I've looked at the prices on eBay, so I'm fairly certain I got a decent bargain on the machine (I'll get $5 of use out of it if nothing else!), but I'm wondering about that LCD. If I'm careful with it, can I get a decent life out of it, or am I living on borrowed time with my new toy? It MIGHT be just dirt, but I'm not gutsy enough to open it up to find out yet. Besides, it looks like ink, which is leading me to the LCD finding. Is my display fairly stable, or will the black spots tend to creep over time? Anybody familiar with how these LCD's like to behave?

Either way the reply(s) turn out, I am thrilled about my find! After playing with this machine for a while, I can see why people are so enamored with the small form factor HP handhelds. It is truly a remarkable little thing. Thanks to anyone who actually read this whole post, and/or can help me out with this.


1) It creaps, but you've probably got a couple of good years left.

2) It is said that that is the fate of all LCDs. I think that Norm asid that. :-)

3) Now that there is a new model in the 17 series the 17bii is a bit cheaper and i think that it's screen is transplantable, but it's not easy.

4) You'll be getting offers to double your money any minute now.


1) I was afraid of, but prepared for, that answer.

2) I think that Norm has ties to the Red LED Cartel, and does whatever he can to bash LCDs. I wonder what he thinks of the Vacuum Fluorescent Displays they put in stereos and car radios...

3) I may try a display transplanst someday, but only as a last resort.

4) I have a feeling I'll be turning down those offers.

5) Thanks, db. Sincerely, Speck.

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