The Museum of HP Calculators

HP Forum Archive 09

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Have they no shame... or, why did they kill the 42S?
Message #1 Posted by Randy Sloyer(US) on 14 Dec 2002, 10:24 p.m.

I admit it, I love the 42S. Now, if it only had serial I/O. We have all heard the stories about why the 42S was discontinued. I always though it just a better “pure” calculator than the 48 series and HP wanted to push the latest. One of the reasons given was that the cpu was obsolete, end of life on components, etc. But I had always wondered how they could keep the 17Bii in production since they were the same calculator, save the keyboard, bezel and rom. It seems to me that the marketing folks just thought more of the 17Bii than the 42S. Now my suspicions have been confirmed. Read on for my surprise of the week:

I recently bought an "organ donor" 17Bii for $10.00, since I had used up my last LCD for a fellow 42S lover. It was reported to be inoperative, just plain dead. When I got it, it was a very new (year 2000) unit, and it powered up fine with a new set of batteries. It turned out to be intermittent, a tap on the back made it go crazy. Since it was bought to be cannibalized, it was time to bust it open and extract the only valuable piece, the LCD. Twiddle, twiddle, snap, snap and presto...

Ahhhh! This is not your average run of the mill 17Bii. It is a new hardware version! Click on the link to see a picture of the circuit board.

New 2000 model Hp-17bii internals

So they did a new board layout for a surface mount device. No more TAB packaging. It is the same package CPU as the 48/49 series machines. So the CPU wasn’t obsolete after all, it only needed a new package. And to think they could have used this same board for the 42S with a ROM change. Oh, the agony…

Have we been elected to...
Message #2 Posted by Vieira, Luiz C. (Brazil) on 14 Dec 2002, 11:32 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Randy Sloyer(US)

... repopulate species?

I have a thought: whatever it is the RPN calculator HP launches, we are the ones naturaly elected to pass this knowledge forward. And when I say "WE" I do not mean only the ones contributing in here, instead I address these words to anyone that knows how to use an RPN/RPL-based calculator and is up to teach how to do it.

Repopulate species.

I'm one of them.


Re: Have they no shame... or, why did they kill the 42S?
Message #3 Posted by Gordon Dyer on 15 Dec 2002, 8:10 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Randy Sloyer(US)

Do any of the current HP calculator team read these pages?
If anyone has a contact in HP then please make sure they do read them, even if it means pasting the comments into an email.
It would be a very easy task to make a ROM for the 42S to work in the new electronics. Or how about an enterprising enthusiast buying up a lot od 17BII's and transplanting the ROM?

Re: Have they no shame... or, why did they kill the 42S?
Message #4 Posted by Christoph Giesselink on 15 Dec 2002, 6:11 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Randy Sloyer(US)

Hallo Randy,

just a question to the picture. Is this an English version of a 17BII? I'm missing the 32KB ROM of the International version.



Re: Have they no shame... or, why did they kill the 42S?
Message #5 Posted by Randy Sloyer on 15 Dec 2002, 9:34 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by Christoph Giesselink

Yes, it is an English only version.

Reasons for not killing Pioneers
Message #6 Posted by Renato on 15 Dec 2002, 6:40 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Randy Sloyer(US)

At the HP-48 Newsgroup, there is a discussion about running a RPN software in a TI-83.

Thread title is " Has anyone used the rpn program for the ti-83? "

Interesting comments:

1. "our high school math/sci team used 32sii but they're about to be disallowed next year since they are so scarce"

2. "yes, the officials are VERY aware of the HP's superiority. anyone caught using just a TI on the test is almost laughed right out of the competition becuase literally everyone else knows they have no chance. Most people use a ti-83+ or 86 for graphing or conversions etc but a large portion of the test is straight number crunching where the 32sii's speed is completly unparalled (because the test is practially written for it). next best thing is the hp 49g which i can beat the average 32sii user at the competition although the good people would just trounce me if i used it reguarly. at the state level competitions EVERYONE uses a 32sii. The non-HP-using people simply cower in fear when the Hp-using people show up".

I doubt it!!! 8o)
Message #7 Posted by Ron Ross on 16 Dec 2002, 8:22 a.m.,
in response to message #6 by Renato

I doubt they cower in fear. Because, they do not know about RPN! They are like sheep before a Lion and think of the Lion (Hp user)as a kitty cat.

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