I've found myself unexpectedly drawn into the world of cubing and I must say what a fascinating world it is! Now I have quite a collection of interesting twisty puzzles with which I can bore my friends and family!
UPDATE: My puzzle mind map is now online.
Here's most of my collection (May 2009): -
|OK, starting at the top we have my first cube in its box and a Rubik's Snake.
The Nintendo Ten-Billion Barrel (1980) and an octagonal prism.
|Next we have some 3x3's: puzl competiton speedcubes in white and black and a see-through pink Type-C DIY.
My first genuine Rubiks Cube on its stand, a purple C4U DIY and a restickered Rubik's promotional cube.
|Meffert's Pyraminx and cheap clear DX Pyraminx.
White MF8 Megaminx and PVC Megaminx with CubeSmith stickers.
|White Tiled DX Mefferts clone 4x4 and EastSheen 4x4 with CubeSmith stickers.
Black V-Cube 5 and EastSheen 5x5 with CubeSmith stickers.
|My overhauled Rubik's Clock and a copy of Dan Harris' book in a handy copy reader stand.|
|A couple of original Square-1's and a cheap DX Sq-1.|
|My first V-Cube 7 (white) and my new black V-Cube 7.|
|Maru Mini 3x3, mini EastSheen double keychain 2x2, EastSheen 2x2 with Cubesmith stickers.|
On Fathers' Day (June 15th) 2008 my wife and children presented me with a 3x3x3 cube and I decided to learn how to solve it. Back in the early '80s when the Rubiks Cube became a fixture in the childhoods of so many, my elder brother owned one, but I regret that I didn't take the time to learn a solution although I could solve the first two layers by intuition and a simple algorithm respectively.
Well, the resources available for learning new skills have certainly become more accessible! With the masses of tutorials and beautifully crafted pages on the net I was able to find some memorable beginners algorithms from the "cubing for lazy people" type tutorials and within a couple of weeks I had achieved my initial goal and I could impress my children with a reliable solve in about 3 minutes (they're easily impressed by their dad :D ).
Of course I couldn't help being amazed by the YouTube footage of speedcubers, blindfolded cubers, one-handed cubers, etc. and in that context my achievement seemed laudable! However, I like to view myself as a happy lifelong learner and I embrace the absurdity of my feeble efforts: I'm proud of this little goal!
After a couple of weeks I found that my cube was getting a bit loose and was locking up in annoying ways. This cube was an unbranded clone from a gift shop costing £5 and it felt pretty shoddy so I started looking out for a genuine Rubik's Cube. I found one for £10 in a toy shop whilst shopping in Nottingham and the difference was amazing: no lock ups, smooth and quick movement, a delight to handle. My solve times dropped to about 2 minutes and spurred on by this improvement I started reading the main speedcubing and twisty puzzle websites: -
This led me into the amazing world of speedcubing from which I doubt I'll return!
My journey continues in the following pages, organised in rough chronological order...