HP33 - Any plans to fix decimal problem


I would like to purchase the new HP33 calculator but I do not want to purchase the calculator until they fix the decimal point problem. Does any body know if HP has plans to fix the problem and, if so, when?


Use the comma like the rest of us!


... and there's still a problem distinguishing the comas from decimal points in large numbers:

See if these numbers look very much different:


Hi, all;

I think that if the HP33S was able to actually show the radix mark (the thousands are not too much important, agree?) as a whole digit, like it is "suggested" in the HP33S User's Manual, then it would be better. AFAIK, all HP graphics use this "arrangement", and all Classics as well. Even the HP67 and all topcats follow the same scheme. If HP designers find a way to change the SW, there is no need to change the HP33S LCD itself, I think.

Just my thoughts.


Luiz (Brasil)

Edited: 28 Aug 2004, 1:51 a.m.


Hi, Luiz --

I don't have all the HP models, but of those I do have, only the HP-35 allocates an entire digit position to the radix, and it doesn't show "thousands-separators" (commas in the US).

The HP-34 and all of my non-graphical LCD models have special display positions between digits for the radix and separators. (Radix only on the 34C? -- I can't remember.)

My models with graphics-capable displays (42S, 17BII, 28C, 48G, 49G) use, for the radix, a cluster of four pixels in a solid dot-matrix grid.

The 33S has a 7x5 matrix of pixels for each of 14 digits on two lines, with tiny LCD displays for point/comma. A 2x2 cluster would not be very aesthetically pleasing -- not centered between the digits, excessive space, poorly shaped, etc. This might be better than it is today, though...


Hi, Karl;

You're right about the radix mark used in the graphics models. And the Spices all use thousands separators, you are right again.

The problem is that there already is a "blank" dot column between each 5×7 dot-matrix digits in the the HP33S display, and the designers decided to "sqweeze" the dot/comma character in there. Your idea of 2×2 cluster seems interesting, but it demands a new LCD design, right? I thought that "devoting" a whole digit for dot/comma would lead to change nothing but software, keeping the display. The tinny dot/comma could be used, then, for thousands separators. What do you think?


Luiz (Brazil)


You have a good point Luiz;
Then we would loose only one digit;
Since this would only be good for future design, why not make a real quality high contrast display with and less shadowing like the HP32S had for many years. The 33S display is not as black as the 32S;




Hi, Richard;

just reasoning about the HP33S display having "light shadows" (not too much contrast). I am not sure if it can be done, but would changing the LCD scan waveforms enhance the contrast? I'd like to know if this is inherent to the LCD constructive material only or if this sort of changing could be effective somehow. Do you know anything about this?

Just a tought.


Luiz (Brazil)


Hello Luiz,

No I dont know this particular waveshape scanning topic;

Notice that in daylight, the display is acceptable, especialy when held in the palm of your hand; The problem is when a table direct bright light (Halogen type) hits the display at an angle; then the liquid crystals that are sitting hight above the backing make a shadow on the backing and the diplay gets fuzy because the shadow blends with the liquid crystals;
Also, the color of the HP33S liquid crystals are not as black as on the HP32S when hit with an Allogen lamp so this make for the bad contast;

I think that many users would accept less digit display for better . and , layout;

This 2x lines display has a plus when it comes to sub-menus variables scanning without having to exit this sub-menu;

Have a nice day,


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