The Museum of HP Calculators

HP Forum Archive 11

[ Return to Index | Top of Index ]

hp 20s
Message #1 Posted by hugh on 6 Mar 2003, 8:40 a.m.

is there any difference betweem the hp20s that came in the cardboard box packaging (red and white) and the newer blue plastic see-through wrapped ones?

Re: hp 20s
Message #2 Posted by Randy Sloyer on 6 Mar 2003, 8:18 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by hugh

The units in red boxes are brown bezels with orange and blue shift keys.

Most blue clamshell packages are black bezel units with the 48 color series teal and purple shift keys.

IMO, the brown have better contrasting shift keys than the black, that's part of the reason the older brown 32Sii's fetch more money than the blacks, the 20S is just the algebraic version.

Purely cosmetic and a matter of taste.

Re: hp 20s
Message #3 Posted by JaSon on 7 Mar 2003, 12:39 a.m.,
in response to message #2 by Randy Sloyer

The newer black models also have the numbers printed on the keys so It is possible for the numbers to wear off after many years.

General 20S ranting
Message #4 Posted by Randy Sloyer on 7 Mar 2003, 8:05 a.m.,
in response to message #3 by JaSon

The only 20S's that had double molded keys (read: never wears off) were the originals made in USA and maybe the very early Singapore production. All Indonesian 20S's (AFAICR from about 1997 on) are printed key top keyboards, that includes all the "Red Boxes" as well.

Personally, I think the shift in production to Indonesia marked the beginning of the slide in quality of the Pioneer product line. I think they must have changed suppliers of the keyboard parts or relaxed the specification on the raw sheet used. I have two early USA 20S's my wife uses around the house, they have the best keyboard feel of any Pioneer I own.

I see all the hyperbole about the "new" products coming out, I just hope new HP remembers what made the old HP so good. IMO, three words, in no order:

Quality Performance Usability

Re: hp 20s
Message #5 Posted by Christof on 7 Mar 2003, 5:02 a.m.,
in response to message #2 by Randy Sloyer

I believe that there was even a '10bii' style 20S towards the end with the same ubercrappy new design features.

I am occasionally still amazed that the power and price of the 20s. if only it had been rpn. I think I could talk high schoolers into that for $30 after showign off a few program tricks.

Re: hp 20s
Message #6 Posted by hugh on 7 Mar 2003, 11:58 a.m.,
in response to message #5 by Christof

yes, i agree. i've been using one for a while and its not that bad. less clutter than the 32sii and clearer display (segmented)... and still available for 30! my one was in a red box (about 1998), but it has a black bezel not brown. altogether it feels somewhat less well built that the 32sii but still acceptable. i was wondering if the more recent packaged ones were any worse. if so they could be borderline.

Re: hp 20s
Message #7 Posted by Bill Platt on 14 Mar 2003, 5:54 p.m.,
in response to message #6 by hugh

I just bought 4 20s's from a store recently, and when I showed them to a co-worker, he immediately bought one! Nice (for an Algebraic)!

Being an RPL fanatic, I did some little toy program writing and found that indeed, the keystroke difference between the 32sii (or any RPN) and the 20s is significant in almost all cases. Typically it seems to be at least 10% more lines, and sometimes double (try converting feet,inches,eights to decimal feet): RPN: Load stack: z feet y inches x eighths

LBL A 8 / + 12 / + RTN

ALgebraic----a lot longer!! (I leave it to the imagination--a challenge to see if anyone can equal or beat that with the algebraic....

But, the Algebraic can nest deeper than a 4 level stack (but why would you want to--always better to solve from "inside out" anyway!!)

I will put that grain out again here----TIME for a NEW RPN MAKER!

[ Return to Index | Top of Index ]

Go back to the main exhibit hall