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HP Forum Archive 19

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HP 35s
Message #1 Posted by Brian Healy on 26 Aug 2010, 2:56 p.m.

I have previously given up on my HP-35s because the keyboard was unreliable, not good for a structural engineer. That was almost 2 years ago. I use my trusty HP-32sii that was made in 1993, and it has been 100% reliable.

My HP-35s is a replacement unit that HP sent me because the original one that I purchased also had an unreliable keyboard. When I complained to HP that my replacement unit also had problems with the keyboard, they refused to do anything about it.

Does anyone know if this problem has been corrected by HP, or are people still experiencing keyboard reliability issues with newly purchased HP-35s?

      
Re: HP 35s
Message #2 Posted by Chris Randle (UK) on 26 Aug 2010, 3:28 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Brian Healy

I bought one in the UK at the end of April this year. One of the keys (GTO) *sometimes* requires a *slightly* more positive prod than the others before it registers.

I thought for a while about returning it, but intuitively felt that there was a good chance that its replacement would be no better or perhaps even worse.

It's not something that bothers me unduly, but it's certainly not the way things used to be. But what is? :-)

            
Re: HP 35s
Message #3 Posted by Thomas Radtke on 27 Aug 2010, 3:34 a.m.,
in response to message #2 by Chris Randle (UK)

Quote:
One of the keys (GTO) *sometimes* requires a *slightly* more positive prod than the others before it registers.
It's one of the arrow keys on my sample and this problem developed over the time. Since then, my 35s is retired. I do not use a keyboard which doesn't register a key press despite a 'key click' feedback. That's more disgusting than no key click at all.

Besides all keyboard problems, the firmware bugs makes it a serious tool only to those who know them inside out to get around them.

Nothing happened about the various problems since it came out several years ago, so I doubt there will be anything done about it in the future.

I'm currenty using the 32SII (again) and watch this forum for any comments about the 30b. When no problems arise over the next years, it will probably be my next choice (when the 32SII breaks). Either that, or HP brings back the 15C, which I would probably buy immediately.

      
Re: HP 35s keyboard reliability
Message #4 Posted by Jeff Kearns on 26 Aug 2010, 9:14 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Brian Healy

My 35s, SN CNA 72500764 purchased in 2007, is also prone to missed keystrokes, but they are not repeatable. I have noticed the problem while entering statistics data and solving lenghty equations.

Bottom line: Unless they have since corrected this problem, you cannot trust the 35s calculator's keyboard without veryfying each number entered. I also prefer the 32sii or even the 33s in many ways, not the least of which is keyboard 'layout' - the 35s has no primary key for STO, LN or e^x as an example. Too bad, since the calculator is a very nice looking unit an 'could' have been so much better, if for example, it had checksums that meant something, or even rectangular to polar conversions on the keyboard. It is a failed unit.

Jeff Kearns

            
Re: HP 35s keyboard reliability
Message #5 Posted by Maarten Ambaum (Reading, UK) on 27 Aug 2010, 4:53 a.m.,
in response to message #4 by Jeff Kearns

This all seems a bit harsh ... the bugs are irritating but haven't bitten me in any serious fashion at all. You really need to seek out the bugs to see them. The only serous bug in my opinion is the flaky implementation of complex numbers, but then I hardly use those myself.

The keyboard on my 35s is very good indeed, although I need to press the () key harder than the others; luckily, in RPN this key is not used. Surely it is more logical to have RCL as the primary key and STO as the secondary key? One STO for several RCLs of a variable in some calculation and RCL is used effectively as the ALPHA key in program/equation input. I agree with the LN, e^x problem; but a keyboard has to make compromises and this compromise is not bad.

IMHO there are too many keys with programming instructions on; I would have preferred to have these in menus. But that would probably make it into a 42s clone - which would have been great!

I'd recommend the 35s to anyone without hesitation. You have to compare it with the competition and the 35s is really a much nicer machine than most of them. See also Tim Wesman's recent post.

                  
Re: HP 35s keyboard reliability
Message #6 Posted by brian healy on 27 Aug 2010, 8:59 a.m.,
in response to message #5 by Maarten Ambaum (Reading, UK)

I compare the HP-35s to the HP-32sii, and the 32sii is the winner in my opinion. I say that because of its total reliability. My 32sii is one of the older versions that has the numbers molded into the keys, I understand that the later ones made in China are not as well built. In fact, even the HP 33s that I have has a reliable keyboard.

The reason that I do not use my 35s is because the keyboard is unreliable; I have not had a problem with the bugs mentioned by others. If only the keyboard was reliable, the 35s would be my daily use calculator.

How hard is it to make a calculator with a reliable keyboard? HP used to be able to do it. I think it is sad that they have not corrected this problem.

Rather than give HP any more of my money, I have bought enough 32sii's on ebay to last me the remainder of my career (about 25 years). I also have my HP 11c from 1986 that continues to function reliably too.

                        
Re: HP 35s keyboard reliability
Message #7 Posted by Martin Pinckney on 27 Aug 2010, 10:28 a.m.,
in response to message #6 by brian healy

Quote:
I have bought enough 32sii's on ebay to last me the remainder of my career (about 25 years).
So that's why none of the rest of us can manage to snag one. [:-)

Anyway, the one you have is already 17 years old; assuming worst case (it fails today) and you assume all will fail at 17 years, you only need 1.47 to last your career.

                              
Re: HP 35s keyboard reliability
Message #8 Posted by Thomas Radtke on 27 Aug 2010, 11:17 a.m.,
in response to message #7 by Martin Pinckney

Quote:
Anyway, the one you have is already 17 years old; assuming worst case (it fails today) and you assume all will fail at 17 years, you only need 1.47 to last your career.
Yes, if he manage to buy a *new* calculator when the old one fails. Unfortunately, they are aging despite not being used. So, if half-life is 17 years, he'd need 3 calculators (calculated on my 32SII ;-).
                                    
Re: HP 35s keyboard reliability
Message #9 Posted by brian healy on 27 Aug 2010, 3:47 p.m.,
in response to message #8 by Thomas Radtke

Actually, I'm on my second HP32sii in 17 years. I dropped my first one repeatedly from drafting tables, I had a stack of books fall on it once, and one time an aluminum stick file speared it. Finally, some of the keys became loose. I ripped the thing apart to see if I could fix the keys, but saw that I couldn't. That calculator still works, and if I carefully press the loose keys they still register. The same cannot be said for my replacement 35s.

I decided to stop using it because of the loose keys, and bought an almost unused 32sii on ebay. I did try the 33s, and of course had the issues with the wierd (imho) colors and layout (little enter key), and also the invisible decimal point when you typed 2.2. I also had to replace it once because after a couple months of using it a key became loose and it wouldn't work.

Then when the 35s came out I thought, "at last they finally got it right again". And then I noticed that various keys would sometimes not register. This also happenend on the replacement, and HP said, "too bad", but at least they were polite about it. And now it seems that several years after introducing the 35s, the problems remain. At least with the 33s they addressed the invisible decimal point. In my opinion HP is just a purveyor of cheaply disposable electronics. I understand they do not have a large staff working on calculators, but they should at least be able to do a reliable keyboard! Come on HP, pull it together!

I treat my current 32sii like it was gold, and it almost looks like it was brand new (except where I engraved my initials into the aluminum around the display. It is truly a tool for an engineer.

                  
Re: HP 35s keyboard reliability
Message #10 Posted by Walter B on 27 Aug 2010, 10:43 a.m.,
in response to message #5 by Maarten Ambaum (Reading, UK)

This is printed in the Owner's Handbook of my first HP, a 25C:

Quote:
"The success and prosperity of our company will be assured only
if we offer our customers superior products that fill real needs
and provide lasting value, and that are supported by a wide
variety of useful services, both before and after sale."

Statement of Corporate Objectives.
Hewlett-Packard

I do not find this in recent manuals anymore, presumably because of changed corporate objectives. IMHO, however, this old statement is in no way outdated for a company striving to make professional quality tools. One major difference between such tools and toys is RELIABILITY: such tools must be 100% reliable, 99.5% are unacceptable. You won't accept a medical instrument missing a keystroke, will you? So if HP wants to be regarded as a maker of professional quality calculators still, then it must fulfill the necessary conditions :-/ else ... :-((

Personally, I'd feel sad seeing the original HP spirit fading. Hope dies last. No personal offense to any forum poster intended.

                        
Re: HP 35s keyboard reliability
Message #11 Posted by Katie Wasserman on 27 Aug 2010, 12:00 p.m.,
in response to message #10 by Walter B

I agree completely and urge HP to create a detailed list of known bugs for all their calculators. This would go a long way toward giving users confidence in what they're using. I know that all the current HP calculators have bugs in them -- some more than others -- and HP should recognize this and publish an easy to find list of them.

While I play with all the HP calculators, old and new, quite a lot, I only trust the older calculators for my real work because I can't afford a mistake. Keyboard reliability is critical as well, I too continue to use a 32sii and now a 12C+ (it's got the old firmware).

-Katie

                              
Re: HP 35s keyboard reliability
Message #12 Posted by Thomas Radtke on 27 Aug 2010, 12:27 p.m.,
in response to message #11 by Katie Wasserman

Quote:
I agree completely and urge HP to create a detailed list of known bugs for all their calculators. This would go a long way toward giving users confidence in what they're using.
Yes, publishing the 35s buglist would indeed give users confidence in using a different calculator ;-).
                                    
Re: HP 35s keyboard reliability
Message #13 Posted by Thomas Klemm on 27 Aug 2010, 1:02 p.m.,
in response to message #12 by Thomas Radtke

cf. HP-35s bug list

                                          
Re: HP 35s keyboard reliability
Message #14 Posted by Walter B on 27 Aug 2010, 1:45 p.m.,
in response to message #13 by Thomas Klemm

So diagnosis is there already. Now, HP, please proceed to therapy!

Edit: P.S.: There are lots of standard quality tools I can quote if you force me to. Think of good ol' Deming and his circle for example ...

Edited: 27 Aug 2010, 1:49 p.m.

            
Re: HP 35s keyboard reliability
Message #15 Posted by Tom Mathes on 27 Aug 2010, 11:13 a.m.,
in response to message #4 by Jeff Kearns

Quote:
My 35s, SN CNA 72500764 purchased in 2007, is also prone to missed keystrokes, but they are not repeatable. I have noticed the problem while entering statistics data and solving lenghty equations.

Bottom line: Unless they have since corrected this problem, you cannot trust the 35s calculator's keyboard without veryfying each number entered. I also prefer the 32sii or even the 33s in many ways, not the least of which is keyboard 'layout' - the 35s has no primary key for STO, LN or e^x as an example. Too bad, since the calculator is a very nice looking unit an 'could' have been so much better, if for example, it had checksums that meant something, or even rectangular to polar conversions on the keyboard. It is a failed unit.

Jeff Kearns


Same situation here. My 33S has a better, non-error prone keyboard but I detest the layout. My 35S has been replaced once under warranty, and the replacement still occasionally misses key strokes, namely the "4" and "ENTER" key. I have to wonder why HP bragged about the keyboard in the 35S when so many find it error prone.

      
Re: HP 35s
Message #16 Posted by Martin Pinckney on 27 Aug 2010, 5:20 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Brian Healy

Every few months this same topic pops up again here and gets beat to death again, still no fix from HP.

OTOH, the 30b continues to get good reviews on here, and so far as I know, no keyboard reliability issues have surfaced.

So I repeat my earlier prediction: HP doesn't fix the 35s because they plan to drop it as soon as sales slow after the market for this particular model is saturated.

Then they create some excitement by introducing a ARM-based emulated 15c, followed up with a completely new scientific, perhaps based on the 30b form factor.

            
Re: HP 35s
Message #17 Posted by gene wright on 27 Aug 2010, 5:56 p.m.,
in response to message #16 by Martin Pinckney

Nah, it will be this! :-)

HP-45s

                  
Re: HP 35s
Message #18 Posted by Walter B on 28 Aug 2010, 9:14 a.m.,
in response to message #17 by gene wright

Since my links in that old thread are broken, how about this or this, that, this, that, or even this here? Though not in 3D and without marbles ;) Please vote :)

Edited: 28 Aug 2010, 9:28 a.m.

                        
Re: HP 35s
Message #19 Posted by Martin Pinckney on 28 Aug 2010, 10:47 a.m.,
in response to message #18 by Walter B

The 45s is what I used to think HP would introduce.

Now I think the 34s is more likely.

And I still think the 15c+ will appear.

The 43s is the one I would prefer.

In the meantime, I will keep using my Pioneers.

                              
Re: HP 35s
Message #20 Posted by Reth on 28 Aug 2010, 4:56 p.m.,
in response to message #19 by Martin Pinckney

43S with R/S and Sigma+ swapped

                        
Re: HP 35s
Message #21 Posted by Martin Pinckney on 28 Aug 2010, 5:47 p.m.,
in response to message #18 by Walter B

Walter, thanks for bringing these concepts together again for easy viewing, but if you really want to get votes, why not start a new thread to bring it to everyone's attention? Would start all the old arguments again, but might also elicit some interesting comments from some of the newer members.

                              
Hi, newbies, there may be NEW stuff for you ...
Message #22 Posted by Walter B on 29 Aug 2010, 6:09 a.m.,
in response to message #21 by Martin Pinckney

... to discover in my post above. Perhaps it didn't catch your attention before. Comments, critics, suggestions etc. are most welcome. Orders, however, cannot be taken for obvious reasons ;)

(Martin, thanks for your advise. Though my post above was mainly for completing Gene's link. And the regular "old" forumers have seen most of it already except some modifications in the last draft. Nevertheless, with HHC2010 upcoming in a galaxy far far away ;-/ I gladly took the opportunity to RCL these drafts FWIW. As mentioned, hope dies last.)

Ceterum censeo: HP, launch a 43s or whatever other scientific layout you prefer.

Edited: 29 Aug 2010, 6:12 a.m.

                                    
Re: Hi, newbies, there may be NEW stuff for you ...
Message #23 Posted by Dieter on 29 Aug 2010, 9:18 a.m.,
in response to message #22 by Walter B

Walter, wouldn't it be a good idea to start a new thread here? This way the old one wouldn't t get even longer and the new subject would stand out better - so that it's much easier to find for us Newbies. ;-)

Dieter

                        
Re: HP 35s
Message #24 Posted by M. Joury on 30 Aug 2010, 5:20 p.m.,
in response to message #18 by Walter B

I'll take 'em all!

Seriously, I like aspects of all the designs shown and being a HP nut I would buy any/all of them. But I am really more interested in the programming implementation than in the exterior (beyond it HAVING to have a full width/height enter key).

So, what do you all say? If you were able to design your own machine where would you start? What current or past implementation would you base it on? I think I would vote for the HP42S as the starting point. Then add the best of the current crop (35s, 30b, etc.) and make sure to give it at least 32K RAM and some form of offline backup.

Ok, how's that for a simplistic start...

Have at it.

M.J.

Edited: 30 Aug 2010, 5:50 p.m.

                              
Re: HP 35s
Message #25 Posted by Walter B on 31 Aug 2010, 2:40 a.m.,
in response to message #24 by M. Joury

Please find my response in the new thread.


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