|Spice quality (and several anecdotes)|
Message #30 Posted by Karl Schneider on 16 Mar 2009, 1:55 a.m.,
in response to message #29 by Michael de Estrada
...and I had to bitch slap it periodically to get all the LED segments to light up,
In the auction description, the seller of the first (old design) HP-34C I bought on eBay used the phrase "smack the sice out of it" to get the display to work properly. That might have been a bit better...
That calc didn't work very well, then I ruined the faceplate trying to restore its sheen and vibrancy of color. I suppose that it could be a parts donor. However, I got an excellent manual and working charger (which I wouldn't recommend using).
I bought my first old-design HP-34C from a local electronics reseller.
Later, from another eBay auction, I got a redesigned HP-34C with case and manual. It works great, but has broken battery contacts. The seller thought it was missing the battery cover, but it was present and intact in the case. On that one, I asked questions to ascertain whether it was a redesigned unit. The seller answered, then trumpeted the verdict in the auction. A knowledgeable bidder tried to snipe me with a series of incrementally-escalating last-second bids, but I foiled him with a last-minute rather high bid that wasn't even reached. (Heh, heh...) It goes to show that, if you really want something, the best strategy is simply to decide what you're willing to pay, bid that amount in the last partial minute of the auction, and hope for the best.
...the ON/OFF slider switch got funky...
It just needed some lubrication. Unfortunately, this entails removal of the back cover, which can cause breakage if that is done wrongly. Other models prior to the Spices had mechanical slide switches for ON/OFF and PRGM/RUN. H-P was wise to replace them with keystroke electronic switches.
Anyway, I bought the HP-15C, which had all the capabilities of the HP-32E and HP-34C without all the crappy reliability and durability issues.
Back in November 1983, I bought an HP-15C. I had intended to buy an HP-34C that I'd wanted for several years, but the knowledgeable sales clerk steered me to the new and improved offering. I still prefer the looks of the HP-34C, and I would have gotten a redesigned unit. However, the HP-15C was a far better product (despite its "dressy" appearance), as I grudgingly had to admit.
Edited: 16 Mar 2009, 2:26 a.m.