HP-20S



#5

I read on the forum some time to time great comments about the HP-20S, HP-32SII so i decided to buy one of them or two!

I went on eBay and found the 2 calculators for sale, but WOW the 32SII is A LOT MORE expensive than than the 32SII. I bided on a 20S, received it and try it! I LOVED it. The keyboard, the siaplay, the color scheme, the form factor, key programming and formulas too!

My question is why is the 32SII, even beaten, is a lot more expensive than a new HP-20S?!?! It's the same series, keyboard, memories are alike. Is the 32SII a lot more rare to find?


#6

The 32SII operates under RPN, or reverse Polish notation, adapted from the algorithms or methods of Jan Lukasawicz, a mathematician. The 32SII, to add 4 and 7 would require the user to first input 4 or 7, then hit the "enter" key, enter the other number, and then hit the "+" key; there is NO equal sign. Then to add or multiply or subtract or divide subsequent numbers, just enter the number followed by the operation.

The 20S uses the algebraic system; i.e., 4 then + then 7 then =, which puts 11 on the display. Many of us find RPN to be far more preferable as our calculator entry method than algebraic. I suppose this is what makes for the price difference.

Otherwise, both are equally very nice calculators!

#7

Hi,

In addition to what Ed points out:

Perhaps at least if not more importantly, the 32sii is fully programmable, and is compatible with previous programmable HP code. The 20s is only partially programmable and stands by itself (along with its cousing the 21s) in programming. As a bonus, it even handles equations as a special extra logical solver space--as well as an integratable part of the programming space.

So, the 32sii is the last in a direct lineage of RPN programmable calculators, starting in the early 1970's.

Going in reverse order:

32sii, 32s, 15c/11c, 34c/33E, 67, 29C, 25, 55, 65, {9810A, 9100B, 9100A}.

(This list is intended to incite controversy, or at least academic discussion :-)

(It is worth noting that other Algebraic scientifics made by HP from the "pioneer" family command higher prices than the "lowly" 20s. (But I like the 20s, too--I have "converted" three guys at the office to it.)

Regards,

Bill


#8

I hope Marc forgives me for hijacking this thread, Bill, but wasn't there a 25C? I could have sworn there was continuous memory 25 model.

I know, I could look it up elsewhere on this site; I might do that later :) .


#9

"I hope Marc forgives me for hijacking this thread, Bill, but wasn't there a 25C? I could have sworn there was continuous memory 25 model."



I bought my first programmable computer ever, the HP-25

Right after that HP started to sell a model, which said, in golden script "Continuous Memory" written in the small "front" panel of the model HP-25C.

One friend of my father, diploma engineer Heikki Torvela (now a Dr.) bought that model.

Boy did I envy!

[VPN]

#10

Quote:
Going in reverse order:

32sii, 32s, 15c/11c, 34c/33E, 67, 29C, 25, 55, 65, {9810A, 9100B, 9100A}.

(This list is intended to incite controversy, or at least academic discussion :-)


Per your request for discussion.....

I think you left out a couple of very important models, and the timeline is a little off. I believe the following is a more complete and accurate listing of the handheld RPN programmables:

32SII (3/1/1991)

42S (10/31/1988)

32S (6/1/1988)

41CX (10/1/1983)

15C (7/1/1982)

11C (9/1/1981)

41CV (12/15/1980)

41C (7/1/1979)

34C (7/1/1979)

33C (7/1/1979)

33E (5/1/1978)

19C (9/1/1977)

29C (7/1/1977)

67 (7/1/1976)

25C(7/1/1976)

25 (8/1/1975)

55 (1/1/1975)

65 (1/19/1974)

Release dates are from the always excellent A Guide to HP Handheld Calculators and Computers by W. A. C. Mier-Jedrzejowicz.

Edited: 22 Mar 2005, 8:08 a.m.


#11

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for your post.

I left out the 41c & 42s families because they are different branches. The 25C I forgot -- but it is a 25 .

I included the 11c/15c and the 34C/33E because it is not clear to me that one could make a clear lineage divid with theses, in the sense that the 32sii is both a direct replacement for the 11c, but also carries some of the 15C features (integration). Similarly, the 34C clearly evolves into the 15c, and the 11c from the 33E, so I have to include both in the lineage.

All of the machines older than that have so much less memory that the 11c and the 32s can more than implement everything offered, with two exceptions: external storage, and printing. So to some extent, it is not correct to put the 67 and 65 in the lineage, except that the 32s and 32sii have every feature and more from a programming and math capability standpoint. In other words, you should be able to take any program written for the 65 or 67 and translate it directly onto the 32sii.

revisitny the 15c, we see that the 32s does not have all of the capabilities. So, at this point, we see the first time in the HP lineage development where the replacement is not completly compatible with itws predecessor. You had to jump to a different line to carry all the 15c capability (either 41c with various pacs) or 42s.

But, the 32s family is much closer to the 15c in terms of programming than the 41c/42s lineage, which is why, ultimately, I think of the 32s as a decendant from the 15c as well as the 11c.

Regards,

Bill

Edited: 22 Mar 2005, 11:50 a.m.


#12

Bill,

I guess I misinterpreted your original post. I thought you were providing a list of all RPN programmables, not proposing a direct ancestral lineage to the 32SII. Based on that concept, your assessment seems logical, although I still feel that after the 19C there were two branches:

33E/C -> 11C -> 32S -> 32SII and
34C -> 15C -> 42S

I also plead guilty to leaving out the financial RPN programmables and the 10C per Gene's post. Not sure if that was intentional or on purpose. (The financials would be dandy machines if they had just included sine, cosine and tangent functions.)

Best Regards


#13

Quote:
I also plead guilty to leaving out the financial RPN programmables and the 10C per Gene's post. Not sure if that was intentional or on purpose. (The financials would be dandy machines if they had just included sine, cosine and tangent functions.)

Actually the 19BII is the one you are looking for : it has the triginometric functions, + additional logs, Pi, roots, ... And the beauty is its solver that can emulate even more complicated functions.

Now wif you want to restrict to the 12C or 17BII, there have been posts in the past that showed how to emulate trignometric functions (yes, even on the ridiculous 49 steps of a 12C, it's possible) using the financial solver.

There's always something more to learn about our calculators...


#14

Quote:
Now wif you want to restrict to the 12C or 17BII, there have been posts in the past that showed how to emulate trignometric functions (yes, even on the ridiculous 49 steps of a 12C, it's possible) using the financial solver.

Actually, there are 99 steps, which makes the 12C programming capacity not so ridiculous (or at least half as ridiculous).

Gerson.


#15

Sorry for that.

Actually I almost never entered a program in my 12C. The only tiles I did that was when the Euro was introduced, I used to store the conversion rates on it and accesses them with GTO

Another solution would have been to use RCL* or RCL/ by a register, by I use them as for what they've been disgned for, ie memories...


#16

What is really annoying in the 12C is its limited program editing capability. AFAIK there are 399 programming steps available in the 12CP, but program editing has not been improved. Will there ever be a 12CP with built-in trigs and better program editing? (I'm going off topic, sorry...)

Edited: 24 Mar 2005, 8:08 p.m.


#17

Quote:
Will there ever be a 12CP with built-in trigs

Sure, as soon as it becomes a common business practice to use the arcsine as part of an amortization calculation.


#18

Quote:
Quote:
Will there ever be a 12CP with built-in trigs

Sure, as soon as it becomes a common business practice to use the arcsine as part of an amortization calculation.


The question is not using trigs in business work. Business students might use a subset of scientific functions during their first college year. The 12C being somewhat expensive could offer these as a bonus, so students don't have to buy a second calculator for math classes.

Furthermore, contrary to what most people believe, trigonometric functions are used in advanced financial applications. See the following paper, published in the Journal of Financial Economics:

http://www.mbs.umd.edu/Finance/dmadan/spander.pdf/

(Thanks Valentin, for having provided me the link)

But we are going way off topic. I would suggest starting a new topic to discuss this, if you wish.

Best regards,

Gerson.


#19

Quote:
Furthermore, contrary to what most people believe, trigonometric functions are used in advanced financial applications.

The keyword in my statement was "commonly". HP probably doesn't expect people to use the HP 12C Platinum for "advanced financial applications".

For years they seemed to be hoping that the 12C demand would go away, in favor of the 17B and 19B series, but they found that there are too many customers that want a 12C either because they were trained on it, or because so much training material is still available for it. The 12C Platinum was an attempt to expand it modestly as well as cost-reducing it. There is virtually no motivation for HP to expand on it significantly, as anyone doing more advanced work should be capable of figuring out how to use a more advanced calculator.

That said, if you're convinced that HP is missing the boat on this, one of the benefits of capitalism is that you're free to build a super-duper-12C clone with trig, Bessel functions, hypergeometric functions, or whatever else you think should be added, and try to sell it.

#20

Hi Jeff,

Quote:
33E/C -> 11C -> 32S -> 32SII and

34C -> 15C -> 42S


I like this idea--I think you are correct--that this is the most logical way to branch the development--as the features are always increasing as you go newer and newer.

The pesky thing is the 41c and therefore 42s--which though generally similar to the old RPN, is a family unto itself with alpha and etc.

But I agree with you. It is the most logical way to analyse the development.

It is interesting how quickly this whole cylce of development has come to an end. For years, many HP users (I would imagine) would eagerly await the next new development--something faster, better, for less money--always improving----. It was almost a feeling you could taste.

Then, calculators basically finished evolving--at the 48 series, there was nowhere else to go in an increasing evolution---

Now, we are into a new paradigm form a development standpoint: What I would call "feature Balancing" as opposed to "feature growth" and so we now see the idea of the development of products with less capability than their predecessors as being a good idea--to fit a niche that was identified during the growth phase. "Bring Back the 15c" and "Open RPN" are two resulting projects in this direction.

Regards,

Bill


#21

Quote:
The pesky thing is the 41c and therefore 42s--which though generally similar to the old RPN, is a family unto itself with alpha and etc.

My personal impression is that the 41C is something apart. It was developed and marketed quite a long time before the voyager series arouse. It was deemed to be the true follower of the 67, as it had the necessary extensions for external memory (not only continuouos memory, but also card, tape or even disc). The 41C was built to be fully extendable, and no other HP calculator (even the 48 series) matched this.

You will argue that the 42S is an enhanced 41. You will be right, as it even includes 41 compatibility, just as the 41 was 67 compatible. But the 42S lacks expandibility, and therefore I'm more keen on saying that it's the true follower of the 15C, even if it widely took inspiration from the 15C.

My 2 cents worth... I guess HP people who took part of this project must burst into laughter when reading this...


#22

>The 41C was built to be fully extendable,

>and no other HP calculator (even the 48 series) matched this.

>

You forgot the HP-71B, which was designed to be even

far more open and extensible than any previous HP;-)

Raymond


#23

Yes, you're right.

But is tha 71B a calculator or a handeld microcomputer ?

#24

Quote:
My personal impression is that the 41C is something apart. It was developed and marketed quite a long time before the voyager series arouse.

July 1979 for the HP-41C, vs. Sept. 1981 for the HP-11C. That is definitely not a "long time" as development cycles go, especially considering that the Voyager was radically different physical packaging than anything HP had done before. Even the HP-15C, the most sophisticated Voyager, was introduced in July 1982, less than a year after the HP-11C.

By comparison, the previous high-end programmables, the HP-67 and HP-97, were introduced in July 1976, three years before the HP-41C.


#25

Seems to me that some development were overlapping.

I mean that HP was designing more than one type of calculators at the same time!

[VPN]

#26

You got my point. The fact is that the voyager and the coconut are really 2 different calculators

#27

Then, calculators basically finished evolving--at the 48 series, there was nowhere else to go in an increasing evolution---

There is one line of evolution that could and should have been continued: high-end keystroke programmables. If HP were to release an HP-42S successor, with more memory, serial or USB I/O, and possibly directories and a bigger display, I'd buy one in a heartbeat. I think a lot of people would -- i.e. all the people who use the 48 or 49 series because they need the power, but who hate RPL and the general weirdness and awkwardness of those machines.

I guess the reason it didn't happen (and won't happen) is because HP worries about competing with their own products. So much for diversity -- score one for the bean-counters. :-(

- Thomas

#28

You forgot a couple of RPN programmables:

HP10C
HP12C
HP38E
HP38C

and of course the HP12c platinum.

:-)


#29

...and the 16C.

I know it's not a *real* calculator to many of you since it lacks even the most basic scientific functions. But it was programmable and it provided its vertically targeted customers with a staggering amount of functionality for its time.

Perhaps I wax enthusiastic about this little Voyager too much. However it's the one I have used the most and I return to it at least once a week (23 years later). In this sense it has a longevity on par with the other Voyager even if it doesn't have the numeric, scientific and engineering functions offered by its peers.

Cameron

#30

Hi, all;

From time to time I'm asked about prices and used HP calculators. One of them I have no clue about price is the HP20S. Can anyone gimme a price 'range' for, say, cosmetically acceptable, working units to 'mint in the box'?

I thank in advance.

Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 21 Mar 2005, 4:15 p.m. after one or more responses were posted


#31

For the last year, "like new with case and manual were sold by seller NMZ http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZnmz for $28.00

His stock now depleted, prices are going up. Recent prices on ebay are $25 to $40, with NIB going for as high s $75.

#32

Looking to the whole Pioneer line, the hp20S are still very cheap (compared to 32SII or 42S). I got mine (in really mint condition) at USD 50,00. But you could get some at even lower prices. Same for the rare 21S and 22S.

Valentino


#33

Ok, i understand for the 32SII : RPN is THE reason for high price in the advertising part of the site. But i saw the 33S and read on HP site that it is also with this entry mode. This calculator is still more expensive than the 20S but at a lower price compare to the 32SII. I read that the 33S have more power than the 32SII. Is the difference in price in favor of the 32sII explain because it's a collector's item and the 33S is still in production? I think i will try RPN, but the 32SII is too expensive for me : is there another solution for RPN appart the 32 and 33?

Is there still a programmable calculator made by HP or TI that can do RPN and fully prog? When i was "young" my father gave me a TI-59 and i us it till it died 5 years ago. Can i find here someone that still have TI-59 to sell? Or another HP with RPN :-) so i can try this?

Marc B.
Canada


#34

Hi Marc, Valentino, guys;

thank you for your reply, folks; I appreciate that.

Marc, I'd tell you that one of the reasons of the HP32SII being more expensive when compared to the HP33S is that it is still a genuine HP calculator, while the HP33S comes form a thirdy-part manufacturer. You see, the last genuine HP calculators keep the HP quality as-is, while newer models are mainly 'getting to the point' after many complains from users related to low quality. I read here that many problems observed in the HP49G+ have already been fixed. What I am not sure about is if the too-small comma in the HP33S display has already been fixed or not.

There are some other issues related to the calculator and keyboard layout, key feeling, colors... Well, time will tell.

My 2¢.

Luiz (Brazil)


#35

Luis,

I'm on my third 49g+, the problem remains. If anyone can benefit, here are my findings:

49g+:
1. Overclock (hpcalc.org => search "overclock") solves the missed repetitive keys (ie. 333 will get all three '3's.
2. The time flag (ie. 5:36, 3/18/2005) must be turned off.
3. I have compared the 49g+ to my 48g. On my 49g+, I am often able to **CAREFULLY** press a button to "click" but NOT actually depress deep enough to register = missed keystroke. This is especially true with the soft menu buttons at the top. The 48g is different. It is very hard to get the "click" without actually registering a press.

33s:
1. I have two of them. I am very happy with the reliability of the kbd. If I feel the click, it always registers as a "press", so far, at least. I've had them about 1.5 months now.

2. I do have a *minor* problem sometimes with the size and shape of buttons. If I hit "4", I also sometimes slightly hit the sharp edge of the "5" key. BUT, I "feel" this, and therefore I am aware of what is going on. I can always check the display. The 49g+ is different, I feel obligated to check the screen after almost every press. (Today in class, using my 49g+, I gave two incorrect responses during lecture...only to be corrected by TI-89titanium-carbonfiber-plasma-flatscreen users..!!

3. I do feel that the "two-line" display is a positive step. The ENTER key is something one can adjust to. The SQRT and SQ keys should be shifted of eachother. "slanted" keys seem to cause some error, but I can adjust.

Observation: The 33s kbd is only 5 keys wide at the upper section. The 32sii has 6 keys per row. Yet, the 32sii feels roomier..

Conclusions, I will no longer use the 49g+. My 48g has two keys that are getting a bit tired. If I had two 32sii's I'd use them on exams, but since I don't, the 33s's will do fine. Plus they are permitted on the EIT engineer's exam (as of now, at least).

Now, together we have 4¢!
Eric


#36

Hi,

'49g+: 1. Overclock (hpcalc.org => search "overclock") solves the missed repetitive keys (ie. 333 will get all three '3's'

As the author of the overclocking program, I'm not sure how it is helping with your keystroke issues. All it does is alter the clock multiplier. It doesn't prevent the 12Mhz -> High Speed transition, that I think cause the misses.

The problem is the 'missing keystrokes' issue is very subtle and its easy to think you've fixed it when you haven't. Witness the dozens of 'cures', such as adjusting keytime, that really don't help.

Personally I am confident that it is a software problem on newer 49g+'s. To see for yourself try one of the test pograms at http://alpage.ath.cx/keys/ - These use a more direct key handler then HP's OS/Emulator scheme. For more information see the newsgroup comp.sys.hp48. This forum is intended for older hardware.

best,

Al

Edited: 23 Mar 2005, 3:10 a.m.

#37

Hi Eric, guys;

thanks for your additional impressions, Eric. They add extra information. I own an HP33S and an HP49G+, but I actualy do not use them too often. I had some problems related to data entry in the HP49G+ and I agree wit you that checking for data after keying them in is a must. And despite of some particular impressions of mine, mostly when comparing to 'true' HP calculators, I too consider the HP33S a good calculator. You see, students at the local university I teach in do not use top calcs, mostly low-cost, 'brand aware' algebraic scientific (in fact, I had never heard of some brands before, like Truly and others). I take mainly an old HP15C and another old HP16C to classes, but I keep one HP9S and and two HP30S to lend to students that forget their calcs at home...

And Al, congratulations for your overclocking program. You see, what I most like in this Museum of HP Calculator's forum is that most vintage HP calculators work perfectly fine nowadays and they actualy face their newer 'counterparts' without loosing points; I take it too hard thinking of my HP97 or my HP55 as retired equipments... ;-) To be honest, I prefer talking about how to repair vintage calculators, how to use their resources and how to program in RPN environment, but I also take as a chalenge to understand and even to risk posting an answer to questions posted here related to new calculators. And I guess we can consider that either the HP28C/S, the HP48S/SX and soon the HP48G/GX/G+ are taking their places at the MoHPC...

Best regards.

Luiz (Brazil)


#38

Hi,

'And Al, congratulations for your overclocking program'

Thanks, but its nothing special. Just changing the values in a few registers :)

'To be honest, I prefer talking about how to repair vintage calculators, how to use their resources and how to program in RPN environment, but I also take as a chalenge to understand and even to risk posting an answer to questions posted here related to new calculators'

Sorry, I didn't mean to say "Do not post about new calculators here". Rather, more technical information on the new ones may be found on the newsgroup.

best,

Al

#39

When the 32SII was still available on the shelves back in 99-00, the 32SII would not go higher on ebay than $30-$40. At that time top dollars were paid for 42S and somewhat nice 41CX's notwithsanding older collectible models.

As soon as the 32SII disappeared from the shelves, it reached rocket prices, similar and often higher than the 42S, though far better in any sense.

My opinion is that as long as the 20S can be found in stores, even if discontinued, it won't go higher than $20-$40 on ebay. But on shortfall everybody will be sorry not to find anymore the Pioneer make quality, and it will reach higher prices. Though, never as the 32SII as it is not RPN.

It's amazing that the 33S is so unpopular. After all, it's the best RPN calculator money can buy, and cherry on the sundae, you can find as many units as you want at any decent store. Of course its quality (built or even OS) is nothing to be compared with the Pioneer series, but we need to recognize that HP did somewhat heard our "Bring RPN back" message.


#40

So the next message to hp should be "bring back the quality"...

Raymond


#41

Just ten minutes ago saw a "mint" 11C at a nickel shy of $400. What is driving this ludicrous inflation?

123 to zap

#42

But when we are taking about quality, we must say that the quality of the last Indonesia 32SII models wasn't good also. I exchanged my "every day" HP32SII (ID906...) with a HP32S (3038S...), because of the much better keyboard of this model.

I don't want to say too much about the 33S, but this calculator was never a replacement for the HP32SII for me, because for _one_ reason: It's too _big_! It don't fit into any pocket of my jacket.

Regards

Christoph


#43

Christoph posted,

Quote:
But when we are taking about quality, we must say that the quality of the last Indonesia 32SII models wasn't good also. I exchanged my "every day" HP32SII (ID906...) with a HP32S (3038S...), because of the much better keyboard of this model.

Certainly, the constuction-quality of the USA- and Singapore-made Pioneers is better than that of the Indonesian-made ones. I recently got a 1990 32S to supplelement my 2001 Indonesian 32SII with silver bezel, as well as to help complete the collection.

(BTW, I've seen Indoesian-made 32SII's with both brown bezel (1997) and silver (2001). Which is yours?)

I posted recently all the differences I found between the 32S and 32SII. Subsequently, I discovered that the late-run 32SII is somewhat faster than the 32S.

-- KS


#44

Both of my HP32SII ID906xxxxx and ID916xxxxx have brown bezel.

BTW, as I read your 32S <-> 32SII comparision I was very surprised that the HP32S has no "x-th root of y"? I found it:

Instead of pressing

<LS> <Y^X>

on the 32SII, you have to press

<1/X> <Y^X>

on the 32S. So is the <1/X> key a kind of shift key? ;-)

Cheers

Christoph


#45

Quote:
Instead of pressing

<LS> <Y^X>

on the 32SII, you have to press

<1/X> <Y^X>

on the 32S. So is the <1/X> key a kind of shift key? ;-)


Try this on the 32S:

<8> <+/-> <3> <1/3> <y^x>

If the expected resuld "-2" shows we can say the 32S has "x-th root of y". However, it is more likely we get an "INVALID y^x" message instead.

If such is the case an xROOTy instruction line in a 32SII program would require eight lines (perhaps less?) in a 32S program, if negative arguments are possible:

<ENTER> <ABS> </> <LSTx> <3> <1/x> <y^x> <*>

Regards,

Gerson.

#46

Yes, the 32SII is expensive, but if there are so many people who pay such high prices for it, that means the prices are correct. The 32SII is a very nice machine; I don't think the 42S could be ranked above it. The former has a feature the latter doesn't: SIMPLICITY. Perhaps that is what makes the 32SII so beloved.


#47

Hello,

from the keyboard legend layout side,

the 32SII is *much* more cluttered.

The 42S is much more powerful than the 32SII.

It has much more memory, which can actually be used.

Additionally, the 42S has a display with

a much better resolution than the 32SII.

The only drawbacks of the 42S are the low contrast of

the display, where the 32SII display is better readable,

and the lack of I/O in the 42S.

For all other aspects, the 32SII and

the 42S play on very different levels;-)

Regards

Raymond


#48

@Raymond:

I think the 32SII is a better CALCULATOR than the 42S. The latter is, to my taste, very complicated. It doesn't matter how much memory it's got; it's not easy to handle.

#49

Quote:
Yes, the 32SII is expensive, but if there are so many people who pay such high prices for it, that means the prices are correct. The 32SII is a very nice machine; I don't think the 42S could be ranked above it. The former has a feature the latter doesn't: SIMPLICITY. Perhaps that is what makes the 32SII so beloved.

Of course the 32SII is a wonderful machine.

But, IMHO, the 42S beats the 32S on many points. Check here

- 2 lines display on the 42S v. 1 line
- matrixes, complex, graphs available on the 42S only
- 7200 bytes on the 42S and 26 registers on the 32SII
- full alpha on the 42S
- notwithstanding other minor enhancements

These 2 calculators simply don't play in the same category. Roughly, the 34C evolved to the 15C which evolved to the 42S. The 33 evolved to the 11c which evolved to the 32S.

IMHO again, the 42S is also a very simple calculator to use. A poll in 2001 hase elected as the best HP calculator ever made (Here to the poll results) and it has been confirmed by a recent survey. I love both calculators, and certainly for a daily use, but I would never give away 1 42S for 2 32SII's !

#50

Hi Luiz,

See this:

http://www.mercadolivre.com.br/jm/item?site=MLB&id=27103105


(For USD price: 2.71 / )


Edited: 22 Mar 2005, 9:50 p.m.

#51

Marc, below is a link to an HP web site that contains a table that compares the 6s, 20s, 30s and 32sii:

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?dlc=en&lc=en&product=60738&lang=en&cc=us&docname=bpia5154

The table shows that the 20s is missing several functions that the 32sii and 33s contain. I guess the question is whether or not you can do without those functions.

Happy calculator hunting!

John

#52

Marc --

No, even though the 20S and 32SII have the same processor and form factor (known as the "Pioneer" series that debuted in 1988 and was finally discontinued in 2002), the 32SII is more capable, and desirable to real HP fans for its RPN entry than is the Algebraic-entry (AOS)20C. That mainly accounts for the price difference.

The 32SII has better programming capabilities, with built-in microprocessor-coded routines for numerical integration, numerical rootfinding, and complex-number mathematics. The 20S has built-in keystroke programs for these three applications. However, these programs run slower, are unintuitive, and erase user programs when they are loaded in. This is the primary shortcoming of the 20S that makes it a compromised product, in my opinion.

That having been said, the Pioneer series as a whole is a remarkable achievement of thoroughly-planned product development. The series of calculators featured the following:

  1. Nine different original models plus two successor models, all utilizing the same basic packaging and the excellent "Saturn" microprocessor introduced in 1984:

    • Three AOS business models (10B, 14B, 17B)
    • One AOS/RPN business model (17BII)
    • Four AOS scientific models (20S, 21S, 22S, 27S)
    • Three RPN scientific models (32S, 32SII, 42S)

  2. These 11 models were based upon three distinct levels of sophistication and price, characterized by different kinds of LCD readouts provided:

    • High end: Small-pixel, two-line, solid-grid, dot-matrix (17B, 17BII, 27S, 42S)
    • Mid-range: Large-pixel, one-line, 12-character, dot-matrix (14B, 22S, 32S, 32SII)
    • Low-end: 12-number, seven-segment (10B, 20S, 21S)

The above is a general overview of the Pioneer series. I expect that eventually, this discontinued series of models will have its own section in the Museum (several are listed now). However, it is a fair undertaking to fully document each of these models. Maybe some of us should chip in with some help for Dave!

-- KS


Edited: 21 Mar 2005, 10:48 p.m.

#53

If a HP-32S is too expensive, you can try the current HP-33S (about $50). The programming is similar to the 32S with 30K memory as opposed to about 7K bytes.


#54

"If a HP-32S is too expensive, you can try the current HP-33S (about $50). The programming is similar to the 32S with 30K memory as opposed to about 7K bytes."



There is not even 1K byte for programs steps in either 32S or 32SII.

I can recommend the 33S for a replacement (if you can see the decimal point), just try before buy

[VPN]


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