|Re: Web site update: An HP-34C article & more !|
Message #2 Posted by Karl Schneider on 2 Sept 2007, 4:02 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Valentin Albillo
Hi, Valentin --
A "congratulations" on the updated website, and a "thanks" for the new HP-34C article.
My remembrances of the HP models of that time were similar: I was enthralled by the HP-41 in 1980, but couldn't afford it. I was impressed by the HP-34C being used by another university student in 1981. Setting out to buy one in late 1983, I was steered by the young salesman to buy the HP-15C instead. It took some convincing to revise my plans and expectations.
One quibble: I realize that the article was meant to be celebratory, with minimal emphasis on problems. However, the phrase, "build quality suffered a little in the end, most specially delicate battery contacts" is misleading. As I'm sure you know, the late HP-34C's from 1982 corrected the main problem of the flawed original design, which was the non-soldered circuit boards that relied instead on strong clamping pressure and a heavy metal backing. Key feel was also improved, with less travel and required effort.
The delicate battery terminals were probably OK as long as users stuck with the standard HP NiCd two-cell rechargeable battery packs. Unfortunately, the packs probably offered short operating time on a charge, and cost US$12 to replace in the 1980's when they failed. Many users substituted the longer disposable AA cells, and broke the contacts.
It's certainly to HP's credit that they spent the money and effort in 1981-82 to remedy the HP-34C's design problems, before its 1983 discontinuation following the release of the HP-15C in late 1982. The HP-15C rendered the HP-34C obsolete -- except perhaps for field work particularly in cold conditions, for which the HP-34C's vertical layout and LED display were better suited.
Edited: 2 Sept 2007, 4:15 p.m.