Message #1 Posted by Viktor Toth on 20 Oct 2000, 4:07 a.m.
Today, I received an HP-39G that I purchased through eBay.
The machine was in its factory sealed packaging. However, I noticed a slight discoloration near its bottom. When I opened the package, the reason became obvious: two of the three batteries rotted inside. The probable reason: one of the batteries was installed the wrong way! The battery juice actually dissolved one of the rubber battery posts, and the battery compartment was just one unholy mess as a result.
I was able to clean it and improvise a battery post, and the machine now works fine. Even so...
Assuming that I wasn't a victim of an unscrupulous eBay seller who got his hands on a shipment of rejects, this kind of quality problem is something HP ought to be ashamed of. (Energizer, too. The batteries in question are Chinese-labeled Energizer alkalines. The machine is also labeled 'Made in China'.)
Otherwise, my first impression about this machine is favorable (inasmuch as you can like 'Aplets' and algebraic machines, on which computing the square root of the displayed number takes FIVE keystrokes - Shift Sqrt Shift Ans Enter.) The rubber keyboard isn't great, but not as bad as I feared. (It does appear, however, that it is not fully debounced; I occasionally get double entries, which is not something I'm used to, not even with my 25+ year old HP-65s.)
Although this is clearly not going to be my favorite calculator, I sincerely hope that it'll be a commercial success for HP. Then, perhaps, we'll see some new, decent engineering calculators, too! Perhaps even an RPN one without a rubber keyboard :-)