Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Retro: HP 33E

HP 33E with plug in charger, spare batteries, and quick help card.  Thanks Dave Hayden! :)

The HP 33E in action. 

Retro: HP 33E

At the HHC 2014 conference last weekend in Reno, NV, I won this adorable HP 33E calculator in a door prize drawing.  Thank you Dave Hayden!  

As far as my collection of HP calculators are concerned, this would be my oldest.  The HP 33E was first produced in 1978; I probably was not even one year old when that happend.  The one I have has a serial number of 2034S32218, which if I understand it correctly, this particular machine was produced in 1980.  

The HP 33E has a 10 digit red LED display.  It is powered either by two size AA batteries or by a power cord that comes with the calculator.  I have yet to test the power cord.  According to, the power cord supplied by HP must be used with a battery pack.  

The main features of the HP 33E are:
* RPN Entry
* Scientific calculator with the usual suspects: trigonometry, logarithms, exponentials, polar/rectangular conversions, absolute value, integer part, fractional part, and sexadecimal conversions.  Curiously enough, no factorial function.  
* Linear Regression
*  8 registers; 0-7.   Storage Arithmetic.  
* Programming: 49 steps.  No labels but line numbers instead.  8 comparison tests are included. 

When turned off, the memory of the HP 33E is cleared.  This was common for 1970s calculators.  Paper and index cards will come in handy.  Hewlett Packard did come out with the HP 33C one year after the initial release of the HP 33E, which featured continuous memory, which means contents were retained after shutting off the calculator.  Of course, continuous memory is standard, and implied,  in any calculator purchased today. 

Regarding HHC 2014, I will have a post of the conference soon.  


This blog is property of Edward Shore. 2014 

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