Message #19 Posted by Norris on 15 Mar 2007, 2:30 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Antonio Maschio (Italy)
The oldest 33S units (like mine) have significant bugs with the HMS, polar conversion, and combinations functions. HP actually issued a "User's Manual Update" to describe these problems and to provide workarounds. I understand that these problems were subsequently corrected in ROM. You can still see a copy of the "Update" at:
The oldest 33S units also had a very hard-to-see decimal point. Again, I understand this problem was subsequently corrected.
I doubt that HP is planning any further changes, because it wouldn't make sense from a marketing standpoint.
It's probable that the biggest single market for the 33S is among people taking NCEES engineering and surveying licensing exams in the US. The 33S is the only RPN or programmable calculator that is legal on such exams. But since the 33S has no competition in these respects, there is no incentive for HP to improve it. Anyone who wants an RPN or programmable calc for NCEES exams already buys the 33S in its current form.
Furthermore, NCEES may change the rules again next year, and limit all examinees to just one acceptable model. If this does happen, and if NCEES doesn't choose the 33S, then sales of the 33S will collapse, regardless of any redesign. And if NCEES does choose the 33S, then sales will jump, regardless of any redesign. So again, there is no incentive for HP to invest in 33S improvements.
Edited: 15 Mar 2007, 2:36 p.m.