|Re: HP 15C LE: "Discontinued"|
Message #102 Posted by Mike Morrow on 6 Aug 2011, 4:27 p.m.,
in response to message #101 by Eric Smith
Bringing back the 42S would require a great deal more engineering. While I agree that it would be nice if they would do it, I don't think we should hold our breath.
I'm sure you're correct...it will never happen. It just seems sad that there will never be a successor to the finest RPN calculator of all time, so I lament what will never be...a small, handheld, non-RPL machine with all the capabilities of the 42S. But one can't help thinking that such a machine could be ordered by HP from Kinpo, in a 30b package, and be ready within a year.
It is also far from obvious that a reissued 42S would sell as well as a reissued 15C. The 15C was a huge success in the mid-1980s, while the only available evidence (admittedly anecdotal) is that the 42S didn't sell well by any dealers other than Educalc.
I owned an HP-41C and -41CX, but I was a very enthusiastic purchaser and user of the HP-15C after I found out all that the little wonder could do that wasn't natively available on the HP-41. (IMHO, the Advantage Module did a rather poor job of adding some HP-15C function to the HP-41.) The 15C was my favorite for eleven years of daily use.
I did not learn of the massive advance that the 42S represented over my favorite 15C, of its unique capabilities in the HP product line, until after the 42S was discontinued in 1995. It took several years to finally acquire a couple, but the wait was worth it.
I think you are correct about the 42S not selling as well, but HP did a very poor, unenthusiastic, half-assed marketing job for the 42S. I kept up with the calculator market 20 years ago. All the HP marketing emphasis was on the HP 28S in 1988 and HP 48SX in 1990. For the contemporary 42S...little was said! Had I known what the 42S offered, I'd have had one in 1988. But I did not know, and that was all HP marketing's fault.
The alphanumeric capability of the 42S makes it far easier to use and program than the 15C. The complex number handling is far more natural and comprehensive. A long-term 15C user (like me), who is not just hung up on 15C cuteness, simply must fall in love with the 42S once what it offers above the 15C is appreciated.
The 32S and 32SII apparently sold far better than the 42S, and that market segment is now covered by the 33s and 35s.
I bought a 32SII when I couldn't get a 42S, hoping that the 32SII had most of the capability of the 15C as a subset of its functions. I was very wrong, especially about the absolutely terrible complex number support that was "Pioneer"ed by the 32S/SII, then drearily continued with the 33S and 35S. I had to continue using my 15C until I found a 42S.
Edited: 6 Aug 2011, 5:53 p.m.