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When my engineering classes were still in person, it didn't seem like anyone was using HP calculators. The calculator policy for the college of engineering here is pretty straightforward; it's just a link to the NCEES calculator policy page.

During one of my structural analysis exams, the professor was checking everyone's calculators to make sure they complied with the policy. When he saw my HP 35s, he remarked it was the first time he had seen it, although he did know of them. Everyone else is using Casios or TIs.

I have to wonder if cost isn't a factor. a new HP 35s is >$50, while the other models can all be had for <$20.

When it came time for me to study for my FE exam, I ultimately switched to a Casio myself after test driving the HP 35s and a TI-36x Pro for it. It just seemed like the better machine for the job.
(02-23-2021 02:42 AM)Benjer Wrote: [ -> ]I have to wonder if cost isn't a factor. a new HP 35s is >$50, while the other models can all be had for <$20.

True: HP products never have been cheap.

As soon as you don't need neither programmability nor RPN, Casio and Texas Instruments alternatives are brilliant.
(02-20-2021 05:48 AM)Roberto Volpi Wrote: [ -> ]
(02-20-2021 01:25 AM)mfleming Wrote: [ -> ]If I correctly recall Tim's explanation of the situation years ago, they did have access to the source code, which was poorly organized, and sparsely commented in Chinese. The "well documented" bugs were unknown at the time the 35S was released of course. Once known, to go back and correct the bugs well after the project was closed would have required nearly the same investment in software development that management was unwilling to make when the initial outsourcing decision was made.

Most of those complaining about quality either don't understand economics (margin) or didn't experience the impact of outsourcing after the Tech Crash at the beginning of the century (mass layoffs). Compare margin and team size now to that when the original HP-35 was released.


You are perfectly right!

Before ranting of "HP does not care about their products" we should take into account that calculators are approx. 0,1% of current business at HP.

HP is still in the programmable calculator business either because some old model still sells enough (ex. 12c) without bothering, or because of the educational niche, like the HP35S, that is a way to promote HP brand among young people.

HP cannot be arsed of the opinion of old sports, users of the HP41 in the '70s, who do represent a meaningless fractional part of its already reduced calculators business.

Maybe you are right and true that times have changed, but it was also a question of brand and image. When my father ordered his first HP calculator forty years ago, choosing that brand instead of a CASIO or TEXAS unlike other colleagues, he was pretty sure without even tested it, that he would buy the top, because so had been for the other HP tools and istruments daily used
(02-23-2021 08:16 AM)aurelio Wrote: [ -> ][quote='Roberto Volpi' pid='143207' dateline='1613800129']


Maybe you are right and true that times have changed, but it was also a question of brand and image. When my father ordered his first HP calculator forty years ago, choosing that brand instead of a CASIO or TEXAS unlike other colleagues, he was pretty sure without even tested it, that he would buy the top, because so had been for the other HP tools and istruments daily used

You hit the point Aurelio!

In any case, the situation is not so desperate. The HP35S is still a good product, and "the story of the 21+ bugs" is imho a bit overstated, and despite all efforts , I was not able to reproduce some of them, like the checksum. In my calculator, bought in 2020, checksum works perfectly as stated in the operating manual.

Could I be wrong?
(02-23-2021 10:54 AM)Roberto Volpi Wrote: [ -> ]despite all efforts , I was not able to reproduce some of them, like the checksum. In my calculator, bought in 2020, checksum works perfectly as stated in the operating manual.

See this thread: HP 35s Checksum explained. You'll find the reverse engineering of the HP 35s checksum mechanism. The flaw is explained in details in this post.
I've had both and have sold both.

I had an earlier Prime with the light orange key legends that I just could not read. I'm old and need reading glasses. Poor contrast items just don't work well for me. Yes, I've heard the later model(s) have darker orange print, but I'm not inclined to spend $100+ for another Prime.

I bought the 35S because it looked to be fun to tinker around with, but to be honest, I never got used to the tall, skinny numbers on the two-line display. It just never really fit in with how I calculate. I ended up selling it for a small loss on eBay.

Semi-picky observations, I guess. However, for me, using a calculator is a tactile and aesthetic experience, as well as using a tool to solve a particular problem. For example, I still pull out my 48G because I like the display layout, the feel of the buttons, etc. I also like pulling out my TI-59 occasionally to see that glowing red display and hear the sound of the machine pulling a card through the reader.
I had the Prime for about 1 month - the latest model. Very fast, very powerfull, but, when I tryed to make some units calculation it was my first big disappointment.
So, it came programing: a new verbose language, like Pascal; in the caculators keyboard, forget it; so, you must use a computer - but, if I wish a computer, I should had bought one, not a calculator;
Third, the fault of directories... just my preferences.
Fourth - two calculators in one: the RPN system and CAS system - the great range of objects in HP-50G had gone...

So, after all, my 50G is doing so well in my EE course, with Laplace transforms, etc (and for other simple math, my 41 is so good), I just step back and sold it.

Indeed a beautifull new computer companion calculator.
I think the main problem about product quality decay (not only in calculators, but in general) is that the average consumer is not willing to pay what “the best product” costs to design and manufacture. Why do you think the commercial suburbs are full of “dollar stores”?

The 35s is cheaper than theirs predecessors had been, but it is still much more expensive than the competitors. And that is after being designed and manufactured in China by a subcontractor... imagine the cost of an in house development and manufacture...

How many people, apart of us, calculator geeks and lifetime fans of HP would pay that amount for “just a calculator”? HP would never recover such a investment...

I bought an HP48G while studying Electrical engineering in the 90’s and it was really a great help (and not only for the ability to store formulas!). Nowadays, (my intern, who has just finished his degree, has told me) they don’t use “so advanced calculators” because all calculations are done with computers... a simple Casio is enough for the kind of exercises they have to do without computer assistance.

Computers replaced calculators in companies and engineering offices long ago; now they have almost done in university, and high school is also on the way (my daughter is in 6th grade and we’ve already been forced to get a chromebook) and with such a shrinking market, I don’t expect much effort from any company to have “the best product”, sadly.

Back to the oldies, I still have my HP48G, took it to a course about solar power plants and gathered a lot of attention, but my daily office calc is a 32s II (and I keep a spare one, just in case!).

Cheers mates!
Sorry for coming to the thread so late but the whole thesis of the thread is wrong.

Prime & 35s are quite popular, at least popular enough to generate multiple comments in this discussion.

Truly unpopular is & was the 38G, surely in the annals of HP the most unpopular when new & at any time after its introduction, nowadays not even worth criticizing.
(03-03-2021 09:46 PM)ElectroDuende Wrote: [ -> ]I think the main problem about product quality decay (not only in calculators, but in general) is that the average consumer is not willing to pay what “the best product” costs to design and manufacture. Why do you think the commercial suburbs are full of “dollar stores”?

The 35s is cheaper than theirs predecessors had been, but it is still much more expensive than the competitors. And that is after being designed and manufactured in China by a subcontractor... imagine the cost of an in house development and manufacture...

How many people, apart of us, calculator geeks and lifetime fans of HP would pay that amount for “just a calculator”? HP would never recover such a investment...

I bought an HP48G while studying Electrical engineering in the 90’s and it was really a great help (and not only for the ability to store formulas!). Nowadays, (my intern, who has just finished his degree, has told me) they don’t use “so advanced calculators” because all calculations are done with computers... a simple Casio is enough for the kind of exercises they have to do without computer assistance.

Computers replaced calculators in companies and engineering offices long ago; now they have almost done in university, and high school is also on the way (my daughter is in 6th grade and we’ve already been forced to get a chromebook) and with such a shrinking market, I don’t expect much effort from any company to have “the best product”, sadly.

Back to the oldies, I still have my HP48G, took it to a course about solar power plants and gathered a lot of attention, but my daily office calc is a 32s II (and I keep a spare one, just in case!).

Cheers mates!

Perfectly right!

It is a nonsense today for a calculator trying to compete with PCs.

A calculator as the HP35S is specifically designed as an education tool.

If RPN and programmability is your cup of tea, it can also brilliantly solve every math problem in that no man land between calculation by mind and a PC.
Hello!

(03-04-2021 04:56 AM)Gerald H Wrote: [ -> ]Truly unpopular is & was the 38G, surely in the annals of HP the most unpopular when new & at any time after its introduction, nowadays not even worth criticizing.

The problem with the 38G in this kind of "unpopularity ranking" is its extreme rarity. It simply cannot collect enough votes to even show up in any ranking. And also I guess that few people in this forum have actually seen one in real life. At least here in Europe. On eBay and other sales platforms they show up about as frequently, or rather infrequenttly, as the HP-91 or HP-01... Currently there are only 5 listed worldwide and at least one of these is broken.

Regards
Max
(03-04-2021 04:56 AM)Gerald H Wrote: [ -> ]Sorry for coming to the thread so late but the whole thesis of the thread is wrong.

Prime & 35s are quite popular, at least popular enough to generate multiple comments in this discussion.

Truly unpopular is & was the 38G, surely in the annals of HP the most unpopular when new & at any time after its introduction, nowadays not even worth criticizing.

Maybe the thesis could be better expressed as "why Prime and 35S are so criticized?"
(03-04-2021 12:11 PM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote: [ -> ]Hello!

The problem with the 38G in this kind of "unpopularity ranking" is its extreme rarity. It simply cannot collect enough votes to even show up in any ranking. And also I guess that few people in this forum have actually seen one in real life. At least here in Europe. On eBay and other sales platforms they show up about as frequently, or rather infrequenttly, as the HP-91 or HP-01... Currently there are only 5 listed worldwide and at least one of these is broken.

Regards
Max

It was, indeed available in Spain in 1996, I remember it was sharing place with the rest of the range in the HP retailer when I got the 48G. But apart from that, I never saw one at the engineering school... everybody was using either 48 or 32 (I mean, among the scarce HP users). 42s wasn’t either popular; I had one and sold it to afford the 48... hope nobody is upset with this, but I never found it a “confortable”calculator, as I didn’t either with the 15c and 41c that I have acquired later. For me the 48 is the one I feel most proficient in, and the 32 sII the most useful for daily number crunching.

By the way, I keep a 1995 HP leaflet of “calculators for maths, science and engineering” tucked in the first pages of the HP48 manual. The options listed then were: HP20S, HP32SII, HP38G, HP48G and HP48GX. I’ll try to scan it and upload somewhere.
(03-04-2021 12:11 PM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote: [ -> ]The problem with the 38G in this kind of "unpopularity ranking" is its extreme rarity. It simply cannot collect enough votes to even show up in any ranking. And also I guess that few people in this forum have actually seen one in real life. At least here in Europe. On eBay and other sales platforms they show up about as frequently, or rather infrequenttly, as the HP-91 or HP-01... Currently there are only 5 listed worldwide and at least one of these is broken.

Hi Max. I don't find this true on eBay here is USA; I see an HP-38G listed about once/week, maybe every two weeks at most. They are nearly always cheap and about 1/4 the time come with a manual. I've purchased 3 in recent years, each one cost less than $25; one of them was $12 w/shipping included.

Regarding the comment by Gerald H. above, "Truly unpopular is & was the 38G, surely in the annals of HP the most unpopular when new & at any time after its introduction, nowadays not even worth criticizing." I find this a bit too optimistic. I think it is worth criticizing, and assume you would agree, but won't hikack the thread further to do that here. Smile
(01-22-2021 01:24 PM)Peet Wrote: [ -> ]What makes the 42s/50g so good and the 35s/Prime so bad?
Pioneers and especially the graphical models up to the 50g were developed with much more ressources if I'm not mistaken.

Tim et al. invested a lot of thoughts into the 35s, I'm sure about that. But it had not been extensively tested and lots of bugs and omissions slipped through unfortunately. HP users weren't used to this in 2007 (allthough there was the 33s, also with lots of bugs and little concept what to do with 32kB of RAM, and hardware problems with 49g and 49gII keyboards). But this 35s looked like a promise for a reborne series of professional calculators, which it wasn't. Really everyone back then was dissapointed, at least I cannot remember it had any friends after the 10th or so bug found within *weeks*.

Don't have the Prime, but what I read about it doesn't sound as if it were as consistently designed as the old RPL g-machines.

The 35s and the Prime both exist because there's a market in education. The 32SII was quite strong there, and so the 35s as a successor had to be similar, which was a good idea imo. At the same time, educational use didn't require HP to update anything as the capability of the 35s is not nearly used there and bugs will likely not show up when adding some numbers. Professional users were not in the target audience.

In two sentences: The old calculators worked for professionals better than later models and they still do. And this forum is full of scientists and engineers.
(03-04-2021 12:11 PM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote: [ -> ]The problem with the 38G in this kind of "unpopularity ranking" is its extreme rarity.

I'd reserve the extreme rarity status to the 38G+ variant.
Hello!

(03-04-2021 02:12 PM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote: [ -> ]I'd reserve the extreme rarity status to the 38G+ variant.

So I will call it "relative rarity" instead. The 38G+ on the other hand has "infinite rarity" or maybe "NaN rarity" depending on the underlying programming language because zero units were released to the market :-)

Regards
Max
(03-04-2021 02:17 PM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote: [ -> ]Hello!

(03-04-2021 02:12 PM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote: [ -> ]I'd reserve the extreme rarity status to the 38G+ variant.

So I will call it "relative rarity" instead. The 38G+ on the other hand has "infinite rarity" or maybe "NaN rarity" depending on the underlying programming language because zero units were released to the market :-)

Regards
Max

I saw one only once on eBay.
(03-04-2021 02:17 PM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote: [ -> ]The 38G+ on the other hand has "infinite rarity" or maybe "NaN rarity" depending on the underlying programming language because zero units were released to the market :-)

It's not infinite nor NaN rarity as one was sold on eB in December 2020. According to the seller feedback best offer was accepted.
(03-04-2021 02:30 PM)Didier Lachieze Wrote: [ -> ]
(03-04-2021 02:17 PM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote: [ -> ]The 38G+ on the other hand has "infinite rarity" or maybe "NaN rarity" depending on the underlying programming language because zero units were released to the market :-)

It's not infinite nor NaN rarity as one was sold on eB in December 2020. According to the seller feedback best offer was accepted.

Now I saw it twice! :)
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