hp 12cp and hp33s



#41

Since I'm an engineer I never gave much thought to the HP12c or 12cp. After seeing an image of the 12cp, it seems like its secondary function colors are blue and red/orange.

The red/orange color seems vastly superior to the purple used on the 33s. I think it would be great if HP dropped the purple on the 33s and went with the red/orange color of the 12cp.

Hp, now that you have addressed the bugs in the display and keyboard, please take another look at the design of the 33s. It seems to me that using different (and better) secondary function colors should be relatively easy to do. If you do a successor to the 33s ( and I hope you do), please go back to traditional hp colors, give us a large enter key, and forget about styling gimmicks like the angled keys. We are not mouth breathing morons who need to be stimulated by "cool" product styling, but are people who appreciate quality products where form follows function. i doubt that the styling of the 33s would influence anyone's decidion to buy it, because those who would buy a calculator just becuase they think it looks "cool" are probably just going to buy lower end models from TI, Casio, Sharp, etc. If you want to compete at the shallow end of the pool, keep your sytling gimmicks there.


#42

I agree completely with this

#43

Quote:
"give us a large enter key"

To which I say, "to what end?" Are you going to calculate better with a large enter key? What makes it so important, anyway? Somehow, we get along fine with a "small" shift key, and a "regular" sized R/S key....

Quote:
We are not mouth breathing morons

I like this one--I can see an image of a particularly stupid teacher I had once...


#44

Bill,

Regarding the enter key, a larger key is what I'm used to, and I do think I would calculate better with a large enter key. It's also very appropriate that the enter key be large because the enter key unleashes the power of RPN. It's what helps to separate the RPN users from the users of lesser calculators.


#45

Hi Modulus,

Quote:
It's what helps to separate the RPN users from the users of lesser calculators

Be careful here! RPN users =/ superior. Lesser Calculators =/ non-RPN. Superior calculators are HP quality, or some other quality. One might easily argue in favor for SHARP classics for instance. HP made some non-RPN from the *very* beginning and they were superior products in their time. They also made some dud-RPN models(10c).

Regards,

R. Hooke


#46

Dear Mr. Hooke: Good one!!

I was taking some poetic license. I define a lesser calculator as one that is non-RPN, not one that is non HP. RPN in my opinion is completely superior to algebraic entry. I would take an HP 10c over the best offering from TI, Sharp, etc. any day of the week. The advanced programming capabilites of the high-end TI's (or HP's)mean nothing to me. For basic number crunching, especially when you have lots of chain calculations, you cannot beat RPN.

This is a digression from my original post though. HP, I beg you as one who is addicted to RPN: continue to improve the 33S! Now fix the colors!

Regards

#47

Quote:
Are you going to calculate better with a large enter key? What makes it so important, anyway?

If the ENTER key had always been the same size as other keys, it wouldn't matter. But the large ENTER came to symbolize RPN and served as a banner announcing, "This calculator is different!" The size reduction was done in an effort to make HP calcs look more like the competition's so people would be less "intimidated" by something unfamiliar. That's what bothers me so much about it. It's an example of the way HP has "sold out" to the lowest common denominator.

HP's advertising used to imply strongly that they (and their customers) were better because they were different from everyone else. Now they want to look and be just like everyone else, and the small ENTER is just one example of that. My attitude is, if they're ashamed of the big ENTER key, then I'm ashamed to be seen with their products.


#48

HI Wayne,

I thinnk it is much less complicated---

Simply, they get more keys if they make it smaller!


#49

Maybe, but it only gains them one extra key, which hardly seems worth throwing away a longstanding company tradition. Plus it happened about the same time that other changes in color, keyboard layout, case design and shape, etc. were happening -- changes that made HP calculators look a lot more like other brands (TI in particular). And don't forget how they de-emphasized RPN by adding (in some cases) a default algebraic mode. I think it's clear that HP's marketing tactics changed from "Our customers prefer our calcs because they're smarter" to "You don't have to be smarter to use our calcs."

HP's original approach was, "You're part of a small, elite group if you use our products." Their current approach is more like, "We're a modern, mainstream group now and if you use our products you'll fit in with all the other cool people."


#50

Quote:
which hardly seems worth throwing away a longstanding company tradition

Traditions are meant to be broken. Else you have stagnation.

How many people do you know who keep up the tradition of switching from a wool hat to a straw hat on memorial day?

Or even better--how many people do you know who make a wreath out of some of a deceased's hair, mingled with hair of his/her progeny?

Obsolete traditions are quaint reminders of the past, not paradigms on which sound business decisions are taken.

Edited: 12 Jan 2006, 7:10 p.m.

#51

Why not modify the Hp17Bii+ into a scientific. That platform might even support the features and functions of an Hp42s+ with only a new keyboard mask and a new software burned into ROM. Add a serial port if you make any hardware modifications and you would sell 2-3 to me RIGHT NOW (I don't know how good the keyboard of the new Hp17Bii+ is compared to the Hp33s, but if its compariable, I would buy 2-3).

This should be a fairly easy release for Hp aside from marketing and this calculator robbing sales from the Hp33s (which Hp wouldn't mind) and the Hp48/49 series (which is why the Hp42s was probably dropped as it either didn't compete well or if it weren't available, people bought the Hp48G before).

But the Hp17Bii+ calculator released in a scientific version ie the Hp42s+ would be a much more stylish and conservative calculator for the professional. Toss in an RS-232 or USB port and you now have sensible back up for the 32K of RAM on board. Also add in the old Hp48G units conversion routine since you have a two line display and sell it for $80-100 and IT WOULD SELL LIKE HOTCAKES.

Make an algebraic mode and Voila, you would now have a real contender even against Ti for a field calculator for the Masses (who don't want to touch an RPN calculator).

Enough of my RANT! Most of you have heard me go off the deep end before!


#52

Quote:
IT WOULD SELL LIKE HOTCAKES

Have you or anyone you know been to an IHOP or HoJo's recently? :-)


#53

IHOP: old, sticky syrup EVERYWHERE. A least-favorite place to eat.

#54

In college towns, IHOP is hopping! Open all night, student friendly, free wireless internet, free coffee refills, syrup shots... It just doesn't get any better.

For me though, one of my least favorite places; ever since I was a kid.

#55

I had two 49G+ calcs, both with keypad problems. But once I downloaded then new ROM 2.00, my keypad problems were solved. I had a new 17BII+, but my keypad problems with it were worse with no way to fix it. Incidentally, I also had keypad problems on two 12CP calcs and decided to wait for the latest upgrade. I hope I like it when I get it. As for the 17BII+, I think it offers incredible potential as a "42S+" or as a "43S." For me, and don't cast stones, I actually love the 33S and prefer its cosmetics over the existing 17BII+. Regarding the chevron-shaped keys and new colors on the 33S, that design change alone probably helped HP to sell orders of magnitude more than the buyers represented on this small (but awesome) forum. I could be wrong, but this is just my opinion. Thanks, HP, for making the 33S and 12CP in the first place and rolling over and for NOT giving up in light of TI's and Casio's success.

Edited: 11 Jan 2006, 3:18 p.m.


#56

Stephen,

I respectfully disagree with you regarding cosmetics, but I too am thankful that HP does make the 33s.

Do you really like the purple though?

Also, do you know if the 33s is selling well?


#57

I have been following the stock in the local Wallyworld. So far, in 1 month (Dec 11 through Jan 11) there have been zero purchases of their 33sstock (4 units). I live in a small coastal town where there is a distinct lack of representation of the 18-30 year old crowd.


#58

It might be selling better at college book stores, and then there's internet sales. Way back in the late '80's when I was in school an HP calculator was considered an advanced and highly desired machine, but I don't know if that's still the case.

#59

I don't have any inside info regarding 33S sales and at my local Wal-Mart they have not been selling too well, either. I'm not sure if this is indicative of college bookstore sales, though, but I would assume that the opinions on this forum (regarding cosmetics) may not be the best litmus test for a new calc since most here prefer the older traditional styles over anything new. I think HP tried to impress the current college kids, but forgot that most current working science professionals still buy new calcs, too. Yeah, many DO use the same calcs for decades, but many also replace them from being dropped too many times (or too much chalk dust!) or just got lost or stolen. Hey, what do they have to lose! I think maybe HP SHOULD come out with a traditionally-styled calc (and call it the 43S!). As for the 12CP, I prefer its looks over my regular 12C, plus it's also much faster for all the date calcs I have to do.


#60

Go to amazon.com and search for "33S calculator". When you get to the HP-33S page, you will find a list of associated items that shoppers also looked at when shopping for the 33S. This is a standard amazon.com feature, it's the list entitled:

"Customers who viewed this item also viewed..."

So what else do people shop for when they shop for a 33S ? Four items are listed:

(1) A review guide for the Fundamentals of Engineering exam
(2) A review guide for the Fundamentals of Land Surveying exam
(3) A review guide for the Professional Mechanical Engineering exam
(4) A review guide for the Professional Civil Engineering exam.

The implication is that the 33S sells particularly well to NCEES exam candidates. If this is true, then it further suggests the following points:

(a) Sales of the 33S are probably relatively small. Not many people take NCEES exams; the number of new candidates each year is on the order of a few tens of thousands. And many of them buy other approved NCEES-approved calculators, like Casios or TIs. HP can't be selling more than 10,000-20,000 units to NCEES examinees per year. And if NCEES examinees are their best market, then total 33S sales can't be very large.

(b) If HP overhauled the 33S design, it would probably not improve sales as far as NCEES examinees are concerned. The 33S already enjoys "monopoly" status as the only NCEES-approved model with RPN or programmability. Any candidate that values these features is going to buy a 33S, with or without improvements. The only way that HP could improve sales in the NCEES market would be to lower the price, to better compete with the non-programmable options from Casio and TI.

Edited: 11 Jan 2006, 5:23 p.m.


#61

May I compliment you on a brilliant bit of market research? Nice contribution!


#62

Another indicator of the close association between the 33S and the NCEES exam market is the number of vendors that are currently publishing and distributing 33S NCEES exam software. The list (which may be incomplete) includes:

www.newcalc.com

www.chotkeh.com

www.33ssurveyor.com

www.softwarebydzign.com

www.ppi2pass.com ("Essential Equations" book series)

Note that these are not just different distributors of the same product -- each of these vendors is offering an original product in competition with others.

Edited: 12 Jan 2006, 12:21 p.m.

#63

Well Ron, I think you hit a potential jackpot for HP. I have been asking myself why the design of the 17bII+ is restricted to business models only. It would do perfectly for an RPN scientific. Maybe a big ENTER key would be fine as well. For the non RPN users an algebraic entry mode would be nice (User should be able to choose between both modes. Don't misunderstand me: I would stick to RPN anyway). I also like the keys of the 17bII+: rings a bell from a distant past and they offer the possibility of direct keyboard access to many functions (with their sloped edges). Don't know what they are made of in the 17bII+, but soft keys are of course off limits. You could produce a remake of any succesful model this way (a 15cII would be a nice thing as well)

HP here's a chance I would say!


#64

I speak from my experience in manufacturing. Making a 43s out of an existing 17Bii+ ONLY involves software and a new keyboard mask. The re-release an Hp42s manual with updates (sorta EXACTLY what Hp did with the Hp33s).

While I miss the large enter key, a new user who doesn't know anything else, would actually find it more awkward (it is, if you look at the enter key in a rational way, the large enter key WAS a MISTAKE!). That we like it is merely our nostalgia and use of a large enter key. And since nothing left in production (aside from the 12c & hey, I say make an Hp15cp too!) has a large enter key, you use what you have (if you want to push another calculator on the market w/o any additional manufacturing costs.

But so many calculators on the market (and all Hp) only rob sales from Hp's other offerings. That is why Hp isn't offering any additional calculators (aside from the cheap King-po algebraic units). Sad, but true.


#65

The amazing thing is that H-P chose to have the 33s "boot" to RPN by default.

That's got to be confusing to at least half of the youngsters attracted to its appearance, while defaulting to ALG would be no problem at all for most (all?) RPN buyers. (I wonder how many of Wal-Mart's units are returned because they "don't work right"?)

Thanks, H-P, for the 33s. (You should probably change it to default to ALG.)

#66

Quote:
IT WOULD SELL LIKE HOTCAKES.

I doubt that it would. I don't think many today would buy an $80 scientific calculator, when you get a $100 TI Graphing Calculator. Whether or not someone actually uses the graphing features of their calculator, the fact that it graphs makes users think it is more powerful.

I feel that the best thing companies like TI have going for them is their name. In high school, most people would refer to their graphing calculator not as a graphing calculator but as their "TI-89" or "TI-83" or, most often, their "TI." The brand name replaced the actual product (kind of like Kleenex or Xerox... I blow my noise with generic Kleenexes.) When you have this brand recognition, you begin to associate the brand with quality. Then, companies like Casio and HP become "generic" companies. When going to the store, you see 8 TI calculators for every one HP calculator. This is partially due to the fact that TI makes a wider variety of calculators (but only slightly, perhaps?).

Let's consider for the moment this situation. A high school student needs a calculator for a class. His teacher says, "Go buy a calculator." Every other student in the class had a TI-89. His teacher only knows how to use a TI-89. The textbook has special sections about the TI-89. He goes to the store, and he now has a choice. He could buy 8 varieties of a TI graphing calculator, or a Casio graphing calculator, or an HP 49g+. He is going to buy the TI-89, almost certainly. Why would he buy any other calculator?

Well, he begins to use this calculator. He gets used to it, and believes it is the best calculator ever. It is very powerful, and can do almost anything (anything it can't do, he pretends doesn't matter, or says "My TI-89 can't do it, how can you expect me to do it!?!") As he grows older, he goes to college. He has the choice to keep his existing calculator (or buy a calculator similar to it), or get something completely new and different. He chooses to keep his same calculator.

He goes out to work, and uses a calculator. The calculator breaks one day. He goes out and buys the new model of the same calculator. When he has kids, and they need calculators, he buys the same model for them. The cycle continues.

People enjoy being familiar with things, and people enjoy being good at things. If you know English really well, and live in America, is there any reason to learn Russian? Sure. There are some reasons. Maybe your family all speaks Russian, and you would like to have something in common with them. Maybe you are going to get a job in Russia. Maybe you grew up speaking Russian as well as English. Maybe you are curious, and would like to learn something new. Otherwise, probably not. Most people will just happily continue to speak English.

TI is picking up users when they are in middle school and high school. They feel there is no reason to switch over to buying a more expensive calculator to learn something more "complex." (and perhaps there is no reason... isn't it a matter of preference).

How many of you all would give up what you are familiar with in order to try something new? How many of you all are willing to use Algebraic, instead of RPN? The answers to these questions are evident in posts such as "Bring back the 15c" and "I want a big enter key" and "RPN is the best thing ever."

I bet other calculator users feel the same way about what they know.

-Ben Salinas

12345


#67

Your reasoning is EXACTLY why the Hp42s ceased to exist. It cost about the same as an Hp48G when it was available.

But many Hp42s users still paid that! Why? Because IT WASN'T a graphics calculator!

But I concede that this is probably the reason Marketing at Hp decided to discontinue the Hp42s.

#68

Quote:
How many of you all would give up what you are familiar with in order to try something new? How many of you all are willing to use Algebraic, instead of RPN? The answers to these questions are
evident in posts such as "Bring back the 15c" and "I want a big enter key" and "RPN is the best thing ever."

Except that I always used algebraic calculators and never touched an RPN model until the age of 33, when I fell in love with the HP-16C in 1988. I didn't buy my first HP-41 until they'd been out of production for eight or nine years. And I didn't start using a 48GX until the 49G had been around for a year or two. In my case, I didn't choose the older stuff until after I had seen how bad the newer junk was.

#69

Quote:
TI is picking up users when they are in middle school and high school. They feel there is no reason to switch over to buying a more expensive calculator to learn something more "complex."
This is true, but the problems for HP calculators run much deeper than that. TI has always owned the middle school and high school market, even in the 1970s and 1980s, which were the "Good Old Days" as far as most HP calculator enthusiasts are concerned. In those days, people who were pursuing technical careers (in science, engineering, surveying, finance, etc.) typically "discovered" HP calculators in college, or in grad school, or when they started working professionally.

Now things are different -- but it's not because TI has invaded HP's traditional market. It's the PC (which was a rarity in the 1970s and 1980s) that has invaded HP's traditional market. The real competitor for HP calculators is Microsoft Excel, not TI. Most technical professionals now rely on Excel as their primary tool for numerical calculations, not TI or HP calculators.

Someday middle and high school students will be routinely issued laptop PCs. And when that happens, TI's calculator division will suffer the same pains as HP's.

Edited: 12 Jan 2006, 2:52 p.m.


#70

I don't think Ti is challenged by the laptop nearly as much as the Hp calculator line is (Hp's customers were more likely geeks in technological settings that made use of PC's when appropriate). I also don't think the PC will replace the calculator anywhere (except the power user, who couldn't bear to do his work with anything less).

Ti's future competetion will be the cheap PDA. The one that can play games and music and still offer an okay graphics calculator. Kids that have no need of anything beyond simple algebra (most of them, Sadly), will buy this great new device as they only need the graphics calculator for 3-4 months of their limited mathematics life and move on. "Hey, my $100- PDA does that! And it plays awesome GAMES AND MUSIC TOO! Ditch that TI JUNK!" (I kinda agree with that very last line) B^)

But for the on the fly designer or casual number cruncher, nothing beats a full featured calculator with buttons. And no PDA advocate can understand that.

#71

I had always used TI calculators, until my junior year of college. I new that HP used a different entry system, and that some time would be required to become familiar with it. Learning how to do something new in college is not a big deal, it is what you are supposed to be doing anyway.

After spending a very small amount of time "getting used to it", it was plainly apparent just how superior it was. The HP was faster and easier to use. Therefore, it did allow me to calculate better, much better. Comparing learning to use an HP to learning a new language is a bad analogy. I still have that calculator, and it is 18 years old and still functions perfectly. While using TI's, which I had been using up until my junior year in college, I was replacing my calculator all the time because. All through high school I don't remember anyone having an HP. It was all TI, and I never heard of HP until I was in college. Then while in college I saw many engineers who had HP's. Why then make the switch to HP if most were presumably familiar with non-HP's? Because of the reputation HP had for making a calculator that was powerful and high quality. There was also an ego aspect to it as well because it also showed the distinction between engineers and non-engineers.

The reason that HP has lost market is because in my opinion, they became stagnant in the mid '90s and stopped being as innovative. They also let the build quality slip. The main reason to buy an HP in my opinion is because of RPN. I doubt that many of the current fans of RPN became turned on to it in grade school, but in college. The question then is why are fewer being turned on to HP and RPN in college now than in the past? I don't but the argument that the computer spelled the end of upper-end calculators. Furthermore, back when HP's were more prevalent in college, they were more expensive than they were now, and students had less disposable income than they seem to have now.

Would an advanced scientific calculator sell really well now? Probably not. I think the reason is because HP dropped the ball in the mid to late part of the 90's. As I said before, the strength of an HP is RPN, and always has been. They should try to make the case for RPN instead of surrendering to algebraic. Surely engineering students even today should be able to see the superiority of RPN.


#72

Quote:
I doubt that many of the current fans of RPN became turned on to it in grade school

for me, it was 10th grade.

Whole new world, now. My son is in third grade, and yesterday he announced to me that that day they used a calculators to solve a problem :-\

I asked him what kind. "Texas Instruments. There was even a picture of one in the book."


So much for learning arithmetic.


#73

In response to that particular quote by E. Young: I was 6 or 7 years old when I was introduced to RPN by my father who brought a 45 to our home one day from his job in order to do some work in the evening. I could do addition and substraction of one digit numbers by myself already (I was after all in the 1st year of grammar school). And now there was this odd machine that could do the same by pressing a few buttons! I took RPN for granted of course: odd machines should be operated in an odd way. I did not even realise there was another entry system possible: only later I came across the TI's with algebraic entry. However, the true value of RPN became clear to me when I was old enough to do real mathematics, that is when I was 14.

#74

Quote:
The question then is why are fewer being turned on to HP and RPN in college now than in the past? I don't but the argument that the computer spelled the end of upper-end calculators.
Think about it. If calculators were still valued for complex numerical calculations, then vendors would sell commercial calculator software. They certainly used to -- the Museum, for example, lists 11 "applications pacs" and 40 "solutions books" for the HP67, and 22 "ROM modules" and 32 "solutions books" for the HP41. And today's graphing calculators (both TIs and HPs) have far more memory, speed, programmability, and graphics capability than those older models. So where is the slick commercial software to take advantage of today's powerful TI and HP hardware?

With few exceptions, it doesn't exist. There was a clearly a market for professional calculator software in the 1970s and 1980s, but now it's almost entirely gone. Why? Probably because professionals don't do complex number-crunching on calculators anymore (either HPs or TIs). All serious work is done on PCs.

There are only a few exceptional cases where there is still a market for calculator software: secondary education (where PCs are rare), field surveying (where PCs are impractical) and NCEES licensing exams (where PCs are banned). But these are the exceptions that prove the rule: calculator software only survives when PCs aren't a viable alternative.

Quote:
Furthermore, back when HP's were more prevalent in college, they were more expensive than they were now, and students had less disposable income than they seem to have now.
Yes, but it was still a lot easier for a student to spend several hundred dollars on an HP than several thousands on a PC -- if PCs were even available when you were in college. Students and professionals were willing to spend big bucks for calculators (and accessories like extra memory, or printers, or software) because PCs weren't a viable alternative. The rules are different now.

Quote:
Surely engineering students even today should be able to see the superiority of RPN.
The TI vs. HP calculator argument has only slightly more relevance to modern engineering students than an argument about Post vs. K&E slide rules.

Edited: 12 Jan 2006, 6:52 p.m.


#75

You seem to be focused on the decreasing relevance of advanced graphing calculators, and I agree. I say that for an upper end scientific, such as a 33s or a 32sII that there is still a potentially large market since these machines are still very relevant even today where there is a pc on every desk.

Computers have not spelled the end of upper end scientific calculators. I define upper end as a high quality scientificsuch as a 32Sii or 33s type of machine, not a graphing model like the 40 series. The 40 series are in competition with pc's and they loose badly. Certainly computers have put a huge dent in the attractivness of the graphing calculators. The majority of average calculations for most engineers in practice are not overly complex. A high quality sceintific calculator is far superior to a computer for average calculations. The complex stuff is properly handled on a pc. In addition, when a pc is used, the answers need to be checked, and to do that you need a calculator. Blind reliance on computer output is an invitation to disaster.

I also disagree with you that it was easier for a student to plop down a large sum of money back in the old days for a high end calculator. The vast majority of engineering students who had HP's that I encountered had machines like the 11c. Only very few had a 41.

The debate is not HP vs. TI. HP is valued mainly because it provides RPN machines. The relevant point is the clear superiority of RPN vs. algebraic. If modern engineering students are being taught in such a way that they can't function without a computer then that is a huge deficiency in modern engineering education. If you need a computer to calculate a simple span bending moment or to check equilibrium for a statically indeterminate structure, then your ability to be a good engineer in practice, not academia has been hamstrung. Your statement about the HP/TI debate being as relevant as argument about Post vs K&E slide rules makes no sense. Almost nobody uses a slide rule anymore, but almost every engineer will have a calculator. RPN is clearly more efficient than algebraic, and this is clearly a point that needs to be made. It would only be irrelevant to someone who does all calculations on a pc, or to someone who does little more than the type of calculations that can be handled by counting your fingers.

To summarize, I do believe that there is only a minor market for an advanced calculator such as HP 48's and 49's because of the availability of the pc. I still say that there is a market for a quality sceintific in the mold of the 32sII or the 33s with RPN and some limited programming ability. The pc is NOT the end of sceintific calculators in the 33s mold-they simply cannot be beat for performing average calculations, which I say comprise the bulk of engineering calulations for most (but not all) engineers. You could take away my pc today and I could still function fine as an engineer. If you took away my 32SII's or my 33S you would seriously hamper my ability as an engineer. I could of course get by with an algebraic from TI, Sharp, etc., but my productivity in performing average calculations would be lowered.


#76

I have a typo in my post. When I referenced indeterminate structures I should have said determinate structures.

#77

Quote:
To summarize, I do believe that there is only a minor market for an advanced calculator such as HP 48's and 49's because of the availability of the pc.
You presumably mean "in the professional market". There is obviously a huge demand for advanced graphing calculators in the education market; TI and Casio sell (literally) millions of them. In 2003, TI issued a press release after selling its 25,000,000th graphing calculator.

Quote:
I still say that there is a market for a quality sceintific in the mold of the 32sII or the 33s with RPN and some limited programming ability.
Then why is the programmable scientific calculator -- with or without RPN -- virtually extinct? TI, Casio, and Sharp have all marketed such models in the past, and have all dropped them. For a while -- after the 32SII was discontinued and before the 33S was introduced -- there were (literally) zero programmable scientifics being manufactured for the US market.

Now there is the 33S, which is crippled by the limitations of the 32SII design that it inherited. But there is good reason to suspect that the 33S sells largely to NCEES exam candidates. NCEES demands a "crippled" design; they will not approve calculators with features like I/O or text editing. HP has no incentive to produce a better programmable scientific calculator, because any significant improvements would instantly disqualify it from an important market.

Edited: 13 Jan 2006, 2:20 p.m.


#78

There is no such thing as virtually extinct. Either you are or are not. Obviously there is a market for progamable scientific calculators or HP wouldn't be making one-they also would not have re-entered this market after the termination of the 32SII. They make the 33s to make money; if there was no money to be made with the 33s they would not make it despite the vocal outrage of RPN adherents. If you tell me that HP only makes the 33S because of HP's calculator legacy and that it makes no proffit on the 33S, then you have to prove that in a better way than by considering the browsing habbits of people on amazon.com.

You are also incorrect to say that the 33s is crippled. Despite its cosmetic flaws, it is now a fine machine. Not that it doesn't need improvement in some areas. Text editing or I/O would largely be a waste in a programmable scientific. I can think of no time that I have ever wished for these abilities in my calculators. The NCEES is concerned about calculators being able to communicate with eachother, and with people being able to enter test questions into their calculators. It should be possible to better utilize the memory of the 33s and still not run afoul of the NCEES.

The programmable scientific market may only be a niche, but it exists. HP fills this niche because they use RPN. The others don't use RPN, so any programmable scientific by them would therefore be hamstrung from the outset. They would not be able to compete with HP in this niche, and I'm sure they see no need to try.


#79

Quote:
Obviously there is a market for progamable scientific calculators or HP wouldn't be making one-they also would not have re-entered this market after the termination of the 32SII.
I don't deny that there is a niche for scientific programmables. I own and use a 33S, and heartily recommend it to NCEES exam candidates, even if they are not accustomed to RPN. I just don't think it's a very big niche -- not big enough for HP, or any other company, to put much investment in.
Quote:
You are also incorrect to say that the 33s is crippled.
The 33S has a much larger memory than the 32SII, but the same small number of labels and variables. Unfortunately, this greatly limits the effective programmability of the 33S. It's not possible to store more than a few moderately complex programs in a 33S, although its memory is large enough to hold far more. I'm not the first person here to call it "crippled".
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Text editing or I/O would largely be a waste in a programmable scientific. I can think of no time that I have ever wished for these abilities in my calculators.
Do you ever wish to edit long equations? If so, you will quickly tire of the primitive "backspace" key on the 33S, which forces you to retype everything that it touches.

Do you ever wish to enter long programs? If so, you will find that it takes hours of tedious one-finger typing to do so on a 33S (one sofware vendor, hp33ssurveyor.com, estimates 3-5 hours to load their product).

Do you ever wish to back up those programs that took hours to load? If so, you can't do it on the 33S.
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HP fills this niche because they use RPN. The others don't use RPN, so any programmable scientific by them would therefore be hamstrung from the outset. They would not be able to compete with HP in this niche, and I'm sure they see no need to try.
Other manufacturers could sell RPN calculators if they wanted too. Aurora, for example, currently distributes an RPN financial calculator (the FN-1000) which is an unabashed clone of the HP-12C (except for its much lower price). Aurora could just as well clone RPN scientific calculators (and I wish they would)...but they apparently don't think it's worthwhile.

Edited: 14 Jan 2006, 1:05 p.m.

#80

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The TI vs. HP calculator argument has only slightly more relevance to modern engineering students than an argument about Post vs. K&E slide rules.

What's there to argue about? K+E rules were clearly superior. (The Versalog was a nice rule, but somebody forgot to give it the A and B scales. I prefer a nice K+E 4081-3 any day!)


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