|Re: Is an HP-10 worth $700?|
Message #12 Posted by Mike Morrow on 9 Oct 2009, 12:30 a.m.,
in response to message #11 by Michael de Estrada
The trail of HP-29C to HP-34C to HP-15C to HP 42S was a logical progression through four generations in capability, sophistication, and decreased price for all-in-one-case (no expansion) RPN calculators, from 1977 to 1988. It would have been wonderful had this progression continued with two or three later generations between 1988 and 2009.
But such was not to be, and the HP 42S has remained the best-in-class for more than two decades. Its capabilities are yet so useful that most by far who pay those high eBay prices seem to be doing so not to acquire some collector's piece, but to have the best small RPN calculator that HP has ever made for actual work use.
I used an HP-15C as my day-to-day calc for ten years, so I didn't know I wanted/needed an HP 42S before they were discontinued in 1995. I was very fortunate in 1997 to find two new-in-box HP 42S units priced at $114 each still unsold after four years on the shelf at the University of Alabama at Huntsville bookstore. Although I had used the HP-35, -45, -67, -21, -41C, -41CX, -15C, 28C, 28S, 48SX, 48GX, and 32SII, I found the HP 42S to be simply stunning in its capability and ease of use. It has an excellent alphanumeric human interface, especially compared to the HP-15C that it replaced. It remains my favorite, though my HP 50g RPL machine has some very good points too. I usually take both with me to work, sometimes with the financial brother of the 42S, the 17BII.
The auction prices of the HP 42S seem to have moderated a bit with the recession. I think there are about five on ebay at any given time. I'd go after one if I didn't have my two. A calculator this good, this important, deserves to be part of any HP collection.
Edited: 9 Oct 2009, 12:59 a.m.