|Re: HP 32SII prices|
Message #3 Posted by Karl Schneider on 17 May 2006, 10:24 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Jan
I speak from similar experience, having bought a new HP-15C in late 1983 and using it through three degree programs. I bought a new HP-32SII in 2002 after learning in this forum that they were about to be discontinued. I use the HP-32SII at work, keeping a few useful programs in memory. I also have the HP-42S and a PC with Matlab for my use.
Bram's comments were accurate about the 32SII having more features, but a less-organized appearance than the HP-32S, which categorized most functions into menus. Most users preferred having functions readily accessible and printed on the keyboard, rather than having to think which menu it resided under.
The Pioneer-series units do not have beveled-face keys that provide a space for a second shifted function. Hence, menus were programmed for the alphanumeric-capable models with dot-matrix displays. Until the HP-32SII, only the 7-segment (thus menu-less) HP-20S and HP-21S had two shifted functions per key, with the legends printed side-by-side on the faceplate. This does not look as neat and organized as the Voyager-series (e.g., HP-15C), HP-41, and HP-71B, with legends centered on and above each key. (The HP-15C is an absolute marvel of thoughtful functional organization -- one never has to hunt for anything, despite the abundance of functions.)
So, why is the HP-32SII so expensive today? Because many other people, myself included, find it a better-engineered device than the HP-33S, mainly for the design and legibility of the display and keyboard. "Attention to detail" was apparent in other aspects of the HP-32SII, and let's not even discuss the mathematical bugs in the original versions of the HP-33S that were not present in the HP-32SII or any other "genuine HP" calculator, for that matter.
Quite frankly, I would have been more pleased if HP/Kinpo had simply provided the HP-32SII with at least 2 kB of RAM and had restored the original brown-bezel face with yellow-and-blue shift keys. Perhaps the obsolescence of certain manufacturing technology precluded such an approach. I, for one, have little use for the weird keyboard, two-line display, ALG mode, x3, and x1/3 of the HP-33S.
Edited: 18 May 2006, 11:02 p.m.