HP 32SII



#9

Hi,
I'm new around here and was surprised by the going prices of the 32SII... Well in the range of much more advanced technologically similar devices, like Portable PCs and Palm devices. Is this simply a "collector appeal" issue ??

The 32SII is the calculator I have and eventually use, simply because it's more practical than the 25C I was using before (which I also keep).

What makes these things so valuable and why are some versions apparently more valuable than the others ??
Thanks in advance for your time.


#10

Quote:
Is this simply a "collector appeal" issue ??

I don't think so. There are lots of HP calculators which are more interesting to the collector but go for less. I often quote the 18C, it offered a unique case, lots of firsts, and is quite rare but you can get one in good condition for under 30 EUR. Or have a look at the 35. This is the absolute must have calc and I would think that collectors buy several of them for replacement parts so prices should go up all the time. Nope, I can easily pick one up for 30-40EUR, with a little patience, that is (I'm rigth now looking for one just out of curiosity, condition doesn't matter really:).
Quote:
The 32SII is the calculator I have and eventually use, simply because it's more practical than the 25C I was using before (which I also keep).

I think you got it. The 32sii is one of very few nearly perfect pocket calculators. I tried to find a replacement for mine but there are simply no competitive models around (I've looked at Casio, Sharp and TI). YMMV but my hypothesis is supported not only by ebay prices but also by the success of the 33S, despite the fact that the keyboard design should distract everyone from buying it as much as several more serious hardware flaws and software bugs.

Thomas


#11

I agree. The prices are high because a lot of people want one for daily use. If you don't need a lot of programing or advanced features, the 32SII is ideal. I needed to replace my original 32SII after it started showing signs of wear. Stacks of books had fallen on it, I carelessly dropped it off drafting tables several times, and once it got speared by an aluminum stick file. Some of the keys got loose, it's gouged and bent, but it still works fine-it's like a tank. I paid a serious amount of money on ebay to get a replacement, because I didn't want to rely on my old one anymore for daily calcs with loose keys. The 33s isn't bad either (assuming you get one with the revised display and keyboard), except cosmetically it is deeply flawed. The old bronze 32SII looked and acted like a serious tool, but the 33s looks like a toy, even if it is useful now.

#12

Well, I think there is *SOME* collector-aimed markup in the prices. If it wasn't so popular for practical use, it's price would still be high, but just not THIS high. I mean, it originally retailed for $70 USD when it was new. What some people ask for now is upwards of FIVE times that!


#13

Quote:
Well, I think there is *SOME* collector-aimed markup in the prices. If it wasn't so popular for practical use, it's price would still be high, but just not THIS high.

I agree that there is a 'price offset' for all HP calcs but it is probably insignificant in this case. If the 32SII would not be as useful as it is, it would go for less than a 28C since it is a very common model. Another aspect: A 32SII with the fraction bug is by at least a magnitude more rare than the other models so it should be a collectible. I've never heard that people request one of these faulty calcs. The opposite is true, often new contributors come along this forum and ask for the 'best' 32SII model.

Thomas


#14

Good points.

It it heartening, then, to see hardheaded thinking with respect to machines intended for hardheaded use.

Now, I hope prices on some vintage models decline enough so that I might be able to afford replacing some aging ones or obtain some legendary unit!

#15

I have a pocket PC and find using an RPN (or any other kind) of calculator emulator to be cumbersome. Although the idea is great in theory - that is I have pocket Excel, and more horsepower in my palm than I ever DREAMED of in university - it still falls short for me.

There is too much "stuff" in the way - missed/double digits, itty-bitty keys, etc. I would rather use a calculator to resolve an issue (even if it was a kinpo) than my pocket pc. The tactile feedback serves to reinforce the logic steps for the work I am trying to do. Conversely, my 41 is a lousy text machine for anything other than basic info. (plus the font is, I think, exceptionally ugly). However now my 41 is way too valuable to carry around in the field or leave in the office.

Now if only I could make my 41 play mp3's....


#16

If your 41 could play MP3 it would be worth much less. I don't think collectors value things that play MP3.


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