|Looking for HP calculators... I´m frustrated|
Message #1 Posted by Fabricio on 17 Jan 2012, 9:25 p.m.
[NOTE: This is a long story out of frustration, not a technical one. Please read it only if you have time to spare!]
I am not a collector as some of you are, but only a hard-core user: my sin was that my father brought home an 11c when I was about to enter middle school (in the middle of the 80´s). For fun, wanting to show off, and a lot of spare time, I learnt rpn. Well, as most of you, I became adicted to it. Most of middle school I used it, as well as my first semester in college. Then HP-28s came around, but was way out of my reach; I even worked to make some money, but only managed to save like 1/3 its cost. I ended up buying a casio (yes, laugh or cry as much as u want). I was so frustrated with that that promised myself I would buy an HP 28s as soon as I could. That only happened when graduated from engineering, but by then HP 48GX was on the shelves and got mine in 1997. I used it very little in the following years, mainly cause my then boss gave me a 32sii. I loved that one, and used it every single day, from 6 to 10 hours daily, from somwhere in 1999 to somewhere in 2004, when it died. Then I started using again my old HP 48GX from somewhere in 2005 until mid 2011 (last august), when I realized that the keyboard was close to useless. I didn´t know about the hp situation nor about this forum; I was naive enough to think that I could get something like the 32sii. I called a friend and he told me he was using the 35s, so I ordered one. As soon as I opened the box, the yellow (turning quickly into red) alarm lights started flashing. You may defend or not the system/firmware of it, but just judging by the quality, it is awful (bear in mind that all I had in life was an 11c, jump to a 32sii, and then my 48GX, all "clasical" ones, at least in the middle level). As I started to look for more models, I realized that there were no "more models", and completely panicked; and then I found this forum, and found the "ugly truth". In desperation I started buying calculators in Ebay and other sites, trying to stock for the rest of my life. The result is that I have now:
1 like new HP28s (I had to take my frustration out now that I can, in terms of money) from Ebay. 225+int´l shipping.
1 badly used HP28s from Ebay, that feel awful when pressing the keyboard (I don´t count this one for anything other than an expensive paperweight, 129usd+int´l shipping).
1 useless HP28s, bought in Ebay, whose keyboard does not recognize the last 4 keys in the bottom. 125+int´l shipping
1 decent HP28s. not the best but usable. 125+int´l shipping, from Ebay.
1 decent HP28s. offered as mint and the best I could find, but it is a bit worst than the previous one. 325+int´l shipping (it was a rocky mistake...).
HP 15c LE:
2, from samson. one bought in 100, the other one in 150. sent through Fedex, paying somwhere between 50 to 80 usd each, plus around 80usd in taxes, each.
1 bought in Mexico, useful but it clearly looks was refurbished. aesthetically awful, to say the least. your fingers cry just when touch it.
1 HP 27s bought in Ebay. On it´s way still.
2 bought in Mexico, one made in Brazil and the other one in Singapore. First one looks to be refurbished, but in great condition. The second one also refurbished, and in very bad condition aesthetically.
1 HP 42s offered as mint, like new, in Ebay, for 375usd + 75ups shipping + 110us taxes. Well, the best way to waste money: while aesthetically it looks really nice (it was originally boxed), it has been used as much as possible so that the keyboard is starting to feel a bit loose.
1 HP 42s offered as "in excellent condition" in Ebay that arrived today, but the faceplate is slightly lifted and with two very small deformations, so I am asumming it was also refurbished.
1 HP 42s bought in Ebay, on its way yet.
1 48GX offered in Mexico as new. Well, it was really new, but stored with bateries so there was some leaking in the batery compartment. I cleaned it, but there are traces of slight corrosion on the metal.
1 48S, bough it for 6usd in Mexico. It has a stain inside the display, that makes difficult to read the fourth line in the stack, but otherwise it is in good shape.
So, as you can see, in my desperation I have put a lot of money and effort to stock for the next 30 years (the span I expect to be left of my working life, clearly if I am not "called" before), and beside the 2 brand new 15cLE, I barely can say that 2-3 calculators are actually in a great, or excellent condition. So, that is my frustration: I can understand HP made the 15cLE for all of us, but it is made in China and don´t expect it to last that much (5 years of everyday use, as average, in my case for the classic ones). We may argue that most things these days are that cheap, but in terms of durability and availability expectation for it in the next 10 years that makes little help. And for the rest of my calculators, I have only to resign myself to live with a lot of them that vary from extremely used (or even abused) to highly used at least, with the suspicious that some of them are refurbished, with most of them with a scratch here and there, and then with the expectation that each will give me only 2-3 years of useful life.
I´m frustrated. Call me an old guy, but I miss the old hp...
PS. And am not talking about how close a cheat some ebay sellers are!