Message #6 Posted by CME750 on 16 Sept 2003, 12:44 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by BSCobb
The 32SII replacement is the 33S. Unofficial prerelease specs are available at http://www.hpcalc.org/hp49gplus.php and http://www.hpcalc.org/images/datasheet33s.pdf. Warning: you may want to put on eye protection before viewing this calculator; it's ugly.
The 32SII didn't have IR, and it doesn't appear that the 33S will have it either. It is likely that the 33S will be deemed acceptable for the EIT/PE exams (but this depends on NCEES, so no guarantees). Suggested retail price = $66.
The 32SII supports complex number operations, but not as elegantly as the HP48. Complex numbers are entered using two levels of the stack. Thus, the 4-level stack becomes a 2-level stack for use with complex numbers. Complex math is performed by hitting the "CMPLX" key before the operator. The 33S will likely be similar.
The 32SII had good programming capabilities, but had very little memory (384 bytes). The 33S is supposed to have 32K of memory. It should be possible to streamline complex operations through programming.
The 33S may turn out to be the most powerful calculator model that is acceptable for the EIT/PE exams under the new rules. Virtually all high-end "graphing" calculators from HP, TI, Casio or Sharp have text capability, and are presumably banned. There don't seem to be many keystroke-programmable scientific calculators on the market today; the 33S may have the market to itself.
An alternative would be older discontinued HP models, such as the 42S or 15C, which had better support for complex numbers. These can be bought used, but they tend to be quite expensive. The 42S may not meet the NCEES criteria for text capability.