HP 42S vs HP 48,49



#16

Is it considered a mistake that HP killed the 42s apparently for the sake of the 48 and 49 series? Or rather than killing the 42s and soldiering on with the 32sII, would it have been better if they discontinued the 32sII and the 42s, and replaced them both with a non-graphing RPN model that was somewhere between the 42S and the 32sII in capability? It could have been the HP 37s. Just wondering.


#17

The HP-42S and HP28C/S came after the HP-41C and ushered an era of more advaced stacks with contents other than simple real numbers. The HP-28S was replaced by the HP-48SX and then eventually by the HP-48GX/G+/G. The HP32S came after the 42s as a low-end RPN calculator and was replaced by the HP-32SII and eventually the HP-33s.

Namir

#18

Many here do consider it a shame, if not an error, that HP chose the 32SII as the one RPN scientific calculator they would continue with. The 42S was more capable, and an updated version would be very welcome. I've heard speculation that HP didn't update the 42S for fear that it would compete with the 48G at the low end. Whatever the reason, it is a shame.

Regards,
Howard


#19

If they ever update the 33s, maybe they can add some of the features of the 42s. On the other hand, the 33s/32sII have been around for a long time with minimal enhancements, which is not encouraging. I do not consider the aesthetics of the 33s to be an enhancememt. If they were to give the 33s some of the programming capability of the 42s that would be great, but that's assuming the current group at HP calculator is up to the challenge. It would be a damn shame if the 33s in its current form was the final word in RPN calculators. However, it is better than nothing.


#20

I agree heartily!

Unfortunately, what seems like a no-brainer from the user's point of view, may be a good deal more complicated from the marketeer/designer/manufacturer's perspective. If the cost of that cycle ever comes down to where niche markets, like us RPN aficionados, are profitable to serve, then we might see something more to our taste.

Perhaps OpenRPN will deliver something, who knows?

Regards,
Howard

Edited: 7 Feb 2006, 3:51 p.m.


#21

Hopefully OpenRPN will deliver something-their designs sound great. I'll believe it when I see it though.

#22

Once the OpenRPN hardware hits the streets, I'll be happy to port Free42 to run on it. HP-42S forever! :-)


#23

There you go!

I'm hoping "Open" means you can load any old bits you like, too. Having Free42 running would be great!

Have you thought about how you would improve on the 42S? Why stop at the state of the art in the late 80s?

Regards,
Howard


#24

Actually Thomas lists a few ideas for enhancements here. I'm sure there would be no shortage of suggestions if he asked for more.

#25

Quote:
Many here do consider it a shame, if not an error, that HP chose the 32SII as the one RPN scientific calculator they would continue with. The 42S was more capable, and an updated version would be very welcome. I've heard speculation that HP didn't update the 42S for fear that it would compete with the 48G at the low end. Whatever the reason, it is a shame.

Regards,
Howard


I'm sorry, this is slightly off-topic but the original thread has dropped off the radar... Do all the 42s have double-shot keys, even the ones made in 1995?


#26

Yes, they do, regardless of country of origin (USA,Brazil,Singapore, Indonesia)

But... the service spares made in Indonesia from 1995 to 2000 can have noisy keys just like the 32Sii's :(


#27

Quote:
But... the service spares made in Indonesia from 1995 to 2000 can have noisy keys just like the 32Sii's
For the record, the service spares were made at least into 2001, as I have a unit with S/N ID1xxxxxxx. Its keys seem perfectly quiet, although it hasn't seen heavy use. I'll take Randy's word that the keys are double-shot, I have a hard time telling the difference. I think I can see the difference between its keys and my 2000 Indonesian made silver bezel 32SII, but that could be because I think there is a difference, so I see what I expect to see.
#28

Quote:
....would it have been better if they discontinued the 32sII and the 42s, and replaced them both with a non-graphing RPN model that was somewhere between the 42S and the 32sII in capability? It could have been the HP 37s.

While it was a shame to kill the 42S, it would also have been a shame to produce something with artificially reduced capabilities just to fill a marketing niche. With the (unfortunate) NCEES requirements, the 33S does fill a valid niche. A better solution would be to eliminate the 48gii (which does represent such an artificially crippled product, come to think of it), and fill the slot between the 33S and the 49g+ with a new model, say the 43S. This fantasy machine would add a few enhancements to the 42S (principally more RAM and PC connectivity to upload/download/backup, plus a few other minor things) to become the penultimate RPN advanced scientific calculator. It would augment, not compete with the high end RPL 49g+. I’m guessing that HP would sell many more of such a machine than the 48gii has sold or ever will sell, at the same price point. Oh well, enough dreaming.


One more thing, a machine numbered “37” would classically be a business model anyway.

#29

I am not familiar with how HP comes up with model numbers. Why would 37 have been a business machine?


#30

I don't claim to know any hard-and-fast rules applied by HP for model numbers. I based that conjecture mostly on an analogy with the Spice series and correlating to current models. The HP-32E and HP-33E/C were mid-range scientific models, and the 37E was a low-end business model. When HP came out with the 32S/Sii and 33S, they re-used the numbers for the new models with similar functionality to the old models. So if they came out with a modern model numbered "37", it sort-of follows that it would be a business model.
Model numbering is discussed in several places in A Guide to HP Handheld Calculators and Computers by W. A. C. Mier-Jedrzejowicz, Ph.D. The last word seems to be that the current scheme has all business machines beginning with a "1", e.g. 12C/CP, 17B/Bii, 19B. So perhaps there could be a 37S scientific model, although as I stated in my previous post, I believe most would rather see a 43S.

Another reference that might provide additional insight is Codenames of HP Handheld Calculators and PDAs: Facts and Speculations by M. J. P. Staps. Unfortunately I don’t have a copy of that book.


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