|Re: In Need of Calculator Advice|
Message #15 Posted by Anders Peterson on 25 Oct 2009, 10:43 a.m.,
in response to message #14 by Walter B
Thank you everyone for your great input. What an awesome forum community you have here!
I have decided to put all my responses together to keep this thread from becoming a mess.
I suppose I should have provided more information on my calculator needs, but I did not want to make my post so long that no one would want to read it. I am a college student, and am also involved in biological research. Basic scientific functions, and ease of their use is a major factor for me. Statistical capabilities are also very important (this is also what I write programs for much of the time).
I don't think the 33s will work for me. It could be that the reviews I have read blasting the keyboard responsiveness of that model are incorrect, but in the end I want a calculator that I can really enjoy using, and though cost is a major consideration for me, the 33s is just so hideous that I have pretty much ruled it out.
Thanks for the tip about matrix support. I did not realize the 42s is the only one of those models that has matrices. They are not essential for me (I do have a TI grapher), but they are important, and that really bumps the 42s up on my list. Complex numbers are not as big of a deal for me.
I checked out the fixmycalc website, and they are not taking new repair orders due to overwhelming demand. That is not really an ideal option anyway. I would like to get my 15c fixed up at some point, but I need a calculator daily so I would have to get another one anyway if I send my 15c out. The truth is I could be overly paranoid about my 15c. It is functioning pretty well. The biggest issue is that the "f" (gold shift) key does not register about a third to a half of the times I hit it. There are a couple of more minor key issues, but nothing is completely broken. Furthermore, no matter what I get to replace it, I will definitely miss the "landscape" keyboard layout. I find it so much better than typical calculator layouts. That is actually the main reason I was interested in the 28s, but I'm not sure it would really be the same since it has the hinge. It seems like it would have to be laid on a surface to use.
I enjoy programming features, and consider them a necessity, but don't really require anything more than my 15c can do (though I expect I might come to enjoy additional capabilities). I really have no need for a grapher, and want something compact (I actually do like to stick my calculator in my shirt pocket from time to time).
As for hunting down a deal on a rough but functional 15c, that is basically what I already have (I should have been more clear about its condition in my original post). My issue is also that it is hard to tell if rough looking calculators are really going to be fully functional, and I can't really afford to take the risk and get a loser.
The 35s is looking like a good option, but the bugs mentioned by Thomas Radtke concern me. I will have to see if I can find any information about what functions are affected. The only other issue I have with the 35s is that it looks like it is a bit larger than the Pioneer models (and of course the fact that I now know it does not do matrices).
At this point, I am thinking my strategy will be as follows. I may be overreacting to small issues with my 15c, but I still think it's a good idea to get another calculator for a variety of reasons. It seems like the 42s might be the way to go if I can find a deal (I have downloaded a program called free42 to check out how it works, and the menu system would take some getting used to, but the 2 line display is nice, and it definitely seems to more than meet my needs). However, if I can't find a deal on a 42s, I may just pick up a 35s if I can find out whether those bugs will be an issue for me (obviously only if I find that they will not be). Once I have another solid calculator, I will be free to send my 15c into the shop if I feel it is necessary. So I have all but ruled out the 32sii (it was my number one option coming in so this information has really helped me out).
Anyway, thank you to everyone, and please feel free to give me more feedback as I am still not certain what I will do.