Message #6 Posted by Randy Sloyer on 8 Oct 2003, 11:03 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by NH
A couple of points about 32Sii's.
The 32Sii started life with units made in the USA. These were the only ones with the fraction bug and HP was swapping them out FOC. I doubt there are many buggy ones still out there.
If I had to guess, I would bet there are at least 10 times more brown units out there than black, so there is no way the browns are "rare" as so many eBay sellers like to point out.
Production shifted to Singapore, a very brief period when they where made in Malaysia and then finally to Indonesia.
The black units represent the end of production units made in the last two years of their life as a product. The keyboards tend to have some keys that click louder than others, primarily on release. Some find it to be very annoying, especially those of us who know that not all units do this. This is a trait of all later Indonesian Pioneers, not just 32Sii's. It is my personal belief that the specification for the bi-axially oriented mylar sheet used for the key dome material was relaxed, creating the problem. Never have I seen a Singapore or USA unit with this very annoying habit.
Malaysian and Indonesian 32Sii units, both brown and black, ALL have printed keys and yes, they do wear off. More correctly, they chip off. Only the USA and Singapore models have the better double molded key legends. As Paul so correctly states, the legends are smaller and of a lower contrast. The painted keys do have a clear coating over them to prevent wear-off, which helps but does not prevent a loss of the key lengend.
I personally find the brown scheme to be much easier to see. The teal and purple against a black background is pretty tough for me. The 48 series was better with the blueish-gray background.
IMO, if you're in the market for a brown unit, I would look for one made in Singapore.
Edited: 8 Oct 2003, 11:12 a.m.