|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…