|Re: hp 42S [Overview]|
Message #2 Posted by Karl Schneider on 20 Feb 2006, 4:41 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by e.young
The HP-42S is the most advanced scientific RPN-based calculator that HP produced. Its programming paradigm is shared with the HP-41; it carries over the applicable computational functionality from the 41, but adds MUCH more: complex-number functionality, real- and complex-matrix operations, rootfinding (SOLVE) and numerical integration, as well as hyperbolics. It has 7 kB of RAM, but its firmware will support 32 kB.
It shares the high-res two-line dot-matrix display and IR-printer transmitter with the HP-17B/17BII and HP-27S, but lacks the algebraic equation solver and the clock/time-calculation/alarm functions of those models.
The main criticism of the 42S is that it lacks the I/O and expandability of the 41. In that sense, it was not a fully-adequate replacement. The HP-48SX provided those things, but it was RPL-based -- incompatible with the 41.
In defense of the 42S, its trim-line Pioneer-series package and low-capacity button-cell battery effectively precluded hard-wire I/O and plug-in expandability. If only the 48 had been RPN-based...
I bought my early-version 42S on eBay in 2002 from a somewhat-disgruntled former HP employee. Even then, units in good condition were going for US$200.
Of course, more about the 42S is available on the MoHPC main page.
Edited: 22 Feb 2006, 10:39 p.m.