|Re: Never make a dime of profit...|
Message #10 Posted by Mike Morrow on 4 Jan 2012, 3:14 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by Kees Bouw
It may be that this is often the case, but it should not be like that...From a company like HP, which supposedly delivers high quality equipment, that would be expected.
Well, let's get a little perspective.
Here's some of the more important HP calculators produced since 1972, with their equivalent cost in 2011 US dollars (from US BLS)).
Model Date List Price 2011 Equivalent
HP-35 1972 $395 $2138
HP-45 1974 $395 $2012
HP-21 1975 $125 $ 526
HP-25 1975 $195 $ 820
HP-67 1976 $450 $1680
HP-41C 1979 $295 $ 919
HP-34C 1979 $150 $ 467
HP-15C 1982 $135 $ 316
HP-42S 1988 $120 $ 229
All these represent some top-quality popular HP calculators from "the good old days". The only one that would be a bargain at its inflation-adjusted price is the HP-42S.
If today it was possible to sell a perfect HP-15C for $316, I have no doubt that HP could match the original. But there would be few purchasers at that price. Frankly, everything available today is dirt cheap...an HP 50G is $150 list from HP, but typically $105 elsewhere. When the toys we buy are so cheap, there can be no logic attached to extensive error-checking and quality control prior to marketing. There ain't no such thing as a free lunch!
In addition, HP is usually awarded too much credit for perfection from 35 years ago. The Woodstock series have the most negligently- and incompetently-designed battery charging system in the history of portable calculators...it could and did easily destroy the calculator. A major product defect! The new HP-67 that I bought in 1977 (for a whole month's take-home pay) had some trigonometric result issues that HP addressed only by inserting a notice card with the manual. We've seen recently that the HP-15C has a basic bug with GSB and indirection that it handled, with NO notice made, by quietly eliminating the manual's reference to the intended function. The magnetic card readers on all HP calculators turn gummy. The battery door designs on most HP calculators really are weak, except for the ill-fated Woodstock line. The whole battery compartment design of the Clamshells is a horror which results in permanent cracking of the calculator case near the cell opening. I'm sure there are many more examples from the good old days of HP calculator history. On the cases I cite above, one could pay a lot of money for an item that was orders of magnitude less capable than today's models, and still wind up with a defective unit.