Salvaging the HP-33s and 35s
04-02-2014, 09:23 PM (This post was last modified: 04-02-2014 10:19 PM by Matt Agajanian.)
Post: #1
 Matt Agajanian Senior Member Posts: 823 Joined: Dec 2013
Salvaging the HP-33s and 35s
Hello all.

Rather than take my good calcs (34C, 42S, 32S II, 15C, etc.) out for daily wear & tear, I would rather use my 33s and 35s for that. So, what are the workarounds for the infamous 33s/35s bugs?

Because, in all honesty (and practicality), if I were spending >$200, it would be to add a vintage HP to my collection that would stay at home. Thanks 04-03-2014, 02:31 AM Post: #2  Dave Britten Senior Member Posts: 2,171 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: Salvaging the HP-33s and 35s Best workaround: ditch 'em and buy a cheap 48S/G. 04-03-2014, 04:05 AM Post: #3  Matt Agajanian Senior Member Posts: 823 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: Salvaging the HP-33s and 35s (04-03-2014 02:31 AM)Dave Britten Wrote: Best workaround: ditch 'em and buy a cheap 48S/G. Truth be told, that'd be a beauty way to go. Although, if I could find a 48 for reasonable dinero, I'd go all out for a GX. 04-03-2014, 04:40 AM Post: #4  Dave Britten Senior Member Posts: 2,171 Joined: Dec 2013 RE: Salvaging the HP-33s and 35s (04-03-2014 04:05 AM)Matt Agajanian Wrote: (04-03-2014 02:31 AM)Dave Britten Wrote: Best workaround: ditch 'em and buy a cheap 48S/G. Truth be told, that'd be a beauty way to go. Although, if I could find a 48 for reasonable dinero, I'd go all out for a GX. Yeah, a 48GX doesn't come cheap. But a 48S or 48G can frequently be found under$50. The 48SX isn't bad either if you want slots for the equation library or extra RAM (though the RAM cards will often cost more than the calculator).
04-03-2014, 05:19 AM
Post: #5
 Matt Agajanian Senior Member Posts: 823 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Salvaging the HP-33s and 35s
(04-03-2014 04:40 AM)Dave Britten Wrote:  (though the RAM cards will often cost more than the calculator).

Yes, I've noticed that. Especially expensive are the COGO modules. Even from as early as a year ago, I saw COGO cards fetching a hefty three digit price tag.
04-03-2014, 08:14 AM
Post: #6
 walter b On Vacation Posts: 1,957 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Salvaging the HP-33s and 35s
How about using a cheap HP-30b, and enhancing it to become a WP 34S?

d:-)
04-03-2014, 12:07 PM
Post: #7
 Jeff O. Member Posts: 196 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Salvaging the HP-33s and 35s
(04-02-2014 09:23 PM)Matt Agajanian Wrote:  So, what are the workarounds for the infamous 33s/35s bugs?

I use a 35s quite frequently. In my typical everyday use, the bugs are never an issue. The 35s handles complex values nicely, but suffers from some display and functional deficiencies (e.g., you cannot use the square root function on a complex value, you must raise it to the 0.5 power.)

Some people really like the 33s in spite of (or maybe just ignoring) its "unique" appearance.

The worst bug, IMHO, shared by both models is no. 15 on Pauli's list, in which a program will lock up if an equation is used as a prompt without a pause instruction after the equation. So watch for that if you write any programs.

Dave - My mind is going - I can feel it.
04-03-2014, 12:16 PM
Post: #8
 Dieter Senior Member Posts: 2,397 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Salvaging the HP-33s and 35s
(04-03-2014 08:14 AM)walter b Wrote:  How about using a cheap HP-30b, and enhancing it to become a WP 34S?

I really like the 34s, but for everyday use the 35s clearly is the better option. It has a better display, a better keyboard, it feels much more solid in your hands, and the most important functions are much (!) easier to access due to an optimized keyboard layout. Complex functions are limited, but more useable (there is a complex data type with direct display) and both HP Solve and Integrate are in a class of their own. The built-in equation mode adds a very nice way of solving problems. In other words, compared to the 34s most things can be done more straightforward, easier and faster.

Within the scope of the 35s, that is. There is no question that the 34s is far more capable and accurate (up to 34 digits). But I know why my trusted 35s is always by my side as well. Maybe the upcoming 31s (or whatever it will be called) can be an option.

Dieter
04-03-2014, 12:50 PM
Post: #9
 jebem Senior Member Posts: 1,344 Joined: Feb 2014
RE: Salvaging the HP-33s and 35s
It is good to know that the 35S is not as bad as a lot of people here likes to dismiss it based on a (big) list of bugs that can't the fixed in the ROM.

I love my 35S, as it reminds me of the classic HP machines of the 70's, despite the features issues here and there.
An on top of that, it is very well documented in HP portal, including a huge learning module as well.

But right now I'm in the process of converting a HP-30B into a WP-34S... I have almost all the required components, and just need the infamous serial cable to flash it (waiting for the components to build one myself).

Jose Mesquita

04-03-2014, 03:51 PM
Post: #10
 Ron Ross Junior Member Posts: 47 Joined: Mar 2014
RE: Salvaging the HP-33s and 35s
The bugs that are in the Hp 35s and 33s are not major for the typical user. While Hp SHOULD be expected to fix these problems, the accuracy of the calculator in the real world exceeds the accuracy of the measurements by magnitudes. To often, people forget about that. So, for me, it isn't the accuracy of the Hp 35s or 33s that make me reach for something else.

I actually prefer my Hp 33s to my Hp 35s due to the direct Rect - polar conversion and the HEX, Dec, BIN conversion (although I seldom use the base conversions) that are far easier to use on the 33s.

My main gripe with the Hp 35s is that it is only marginally smaller than the Hp 48G. So, if I have to choose between a big bulky scientific and a graphing Hp 48G with a lot more reliable programming paradigm, I think I'll carry the Hp 48G.

As for cost, you might consider the HP 48G+. It cannot use expansion cards so you will not compete with survey firms that need to replace a 48GX and keep the prices artificially high. It has enough memory for the high end user for the type of calculator it is. No, you wont be able to load a high end CAS, but you can load up a lot and it is a great number crunching platform.
04-03-2014, 04:43 PM (This post was last modified: 04-03-2014 04:44 PM by HP67.)
Post: #11
 HP67 Senior Member Posts: 663 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Salvaging the HP-33s and 35s
If you look around a little bit you can find a new 50g for the price of a beater 48. I bought two new ones for 75 and 79 dollars in the last few months from retail shops.

Don't get me wrong, I would take a mint 48 over a new 50g like most people. It's just that for 100 bucks you're not likely to get any model of 48 in mint condition. For the 50 bucks that Dave mentioned all I have seen is beaters. There may be nothing wrong with a beater 48 if you don't mind the dirty looks. They take a beating and still work like a champ.

Either the 50g or the 48 is more capable for programming than the ones you mentioned and even if you don't use the graphics (so far, I don't) the additional screen real estate is great for programming and even regular calculations since you see more of the stack.

It ain't OVER 'till it's 2 PICK
04-03-2014, 05:41 PM
Post: #12
 Matt Agajanian Senior Member Posts: 823 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Salvaging the HP-33s and 35s
Hi all. The workarounds and praises for the 33s and 35s you folks presented here are the main reasons why I also agree that the 33s and 35s are not deserving of life imprisonment in a trash compactor. On the other hands, yes a few, between 33s, 35s or 48, the 48 is by far a more function- and feature- laden 'in the field' tool.

As, Tevye says, "On the other hand," because of the helpful workarounds for 33/35s shortfalls such as my favourite Polar/Rectangular gem for the 35S as well as the EQN-Prompt-Pause sleight of hand, now it gives me more confidence that either 33s/35s can withstand my real world computational needs. On the other hand, a 48GX might just be icing and whipped cream on the cake.
04-03-2014, 08:48 PM (This post was last modified: 04-03-2014 08:52 PM by everettr.)
Post: #13
 everettr Member Posts: 60 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Salvaging the HP-33s and 35s
See what you have done!? Now I must know what the fuss is all about. :-)
(Hear low, rumbling laughter as TAS delivers yet another HP calculator to my drawer/collection.)
Rationale(ization): It is not so much (\$45, shipping included). You can't even buy half a 34c soaked in KOH for so little.
04-03-2014, 09:05 PM
Post: #14
 Matt Agajanian Senior Member Posts: 823 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Salvaging the HP-33s and 35s
Here's the 35s glitch list.