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Author Topic:   Rubik's Cubes
homesalad
Super Geek

Posts: 216
From: Port Townsend, WA, USA
Registered: Oct 2001

posted December 12, 2001 12:28     Click Here to See the Profile for homesalad   Click Here to Email homesalad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay, so this is random. When I lived in Portland, I climbed with a bunch of guys (and gals) that worked at Intel. At any rate, I went to a few parties at their houses, which we different from other parties that I had been to before. People were still drinking and chatting, but they were the only parties where people would have a beer in one hand and a mind-puzzle in the other. The converstation usually was about how the house owners had just finnished hooking up the lan, and that now all the computers (usually like 6 or 7) were properly networks using such and such a frequency, which happened to be cutting edge.

Well the point is, that at one of them one of the guys there was working a 5X5 rubiks cube, which I hadn't seen before. So it still has 6 sides, but each side has 25 squares on it. It was pretty crazy, he'd never done a 5X5 before, and in like an hour or two, (with a beer in one hand) he'd figured out the solution. I was impressed.

Then someone else was talking about a machine that a friend/professor of his had built that which soloved rubiks cubes. It had "hands" that attached to the cube, and you could tell the machine which colors are where, and it would solve the cube. I was impressed with that too.

/random thought

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Steen
SuperBlabberMouth!

Posts: 1162
From: Maryville, TN, USA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted December 13, 2001 07:18     Click Here to See the Profile for Steen   Click Here to Email Steen     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is the coolest Rubik's Cube solving robot I've seen so far. You don't even have to tell it the colors of the cube... it scans with a camera and determines that for itself.

The Rubik's style cube with five pieces per edge is called a Professor Cube. You can see it and a bunch of other similar styled puzzles on this site

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Miles
Mini-Geek

Posts: 56
From: Columbus, OH, USA
Registered: May 2001

posted December 13, 2001 08:31     Click Here to See the Profile for Miles   Click Here to Email Miles     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You may want to file these links in the "too much information" catagory, but I found them fun.

The group theory of Rubik's cube: http://web.usna.navy.mil/~wdj/rubik_nts.htm

An efficient algorithm for solving the cube: http://www.sunyit.edu/~millerd1/RUBIK.HTM

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trowelblister
Super Geek

Posts: 227
From: doylestown, pa, usa
Registered: Sep 2001

posted December 14, 2001 07:07     Click Here to See the Profile for trowelblister   Click Here to Email trowelblister     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When I was a kid, I just took them apart with a screw driver, then put all the colors back together in the right order. Let's see a robot do that!

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Geordie
Super Geek

Posts: 148
From: Fairfax Station, VA, USA
Registered: Nov 2001

posted December 14, 2001 08:42     Click Here to See the Profile for Geordie   Click Here to Email Geordie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by trowelblister:
When I was a kid, I just took them apart with a screw driver, then put all the colors back together in the right order. Let's see a robot do that!

When I first read about that robot I decided I would know AI existed when a robot decided to solve the Rubik's cube using the reassembly method.

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theJacob
Super Geek

Posts: 141
From: Colorado
Registered: Nov 2001

posted December 14, 2001 19:25     Click Here to See the Profile for theJacob   Click Here to Email theJacob     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When solving Rubix cubes, I've found a quick and easy solution.
I peel off the stickers and move them to possitions that would result in a correct soultion.
Cheating? Maybe. But I'm not going to sit around wasting time when thinking differently will get the job done fifty times as fast..

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Intellegnce+Laziness=Efficency

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Angry Rooster
Assimilated

Posts: 376
From: Coeur d'Alene, ID, USA
Registered: Apr 2001

posted December 15, 2001 00:02     Click Here to See the Profile for Angry Rooster   Click Here to Email Angry Rooster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was always amazed at how few people figured out the reassembly method...

Certainly made me feel special though, until this thread I was the only person I knew to figure it out

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--Angry Rooster
"Eagles may soar, but roosters don't get sucked into jet engines."

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Papa
Geek

Posts: 82
From: Syracuse, NY, USA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted December 15, 2001 10:48     Click Here to See the Profile for Papa   Click Here to Email Papa     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Angry Rooster:
I was always amazed at how few people figured out the reassembly method...


To really bolw someone's mind, switch an edge sticker with a corner sticker of a different color, then scramble the cube and watch one of these geniuses go nuts trying to solve it.

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Papa
Keeper of The Book

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Angry Rooster
Assimilated

Posts: 376
From: Coeur d'Alene, ID, USA
Registered: Apr 2001

posted December 15, 2001 13:32     Click Here to See the Profile for Angry Rooster   Click Here to Email Angry Rooster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Papa:
To really bolw someone's mind, switch an edge sticker with a corner sticker of a different color, then scramble the cube and watch one of these geniuses go nuts trying to solve it.


Eh, but peeling stickers is generally noticable, and lessens the life of the cube(more than taking apart even), I would just take a corner piece and turn it a notch

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--Angry Rooster
"Eagles may soar, but roosters don't get sucked into jet engines."

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tafkact
Highlie

Posts: 614
From: nowhere, man
Registered: Jan 2000

posted December 15, 2001 19:29     Click Here to See the Profile for tafkact     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
hehehe, reassembly WAS the fastest way to "solve" the puzzle

i can recall doing that a few times, then i got a LARGE version of the cube - it measured 6" per side - it was MUCH easier to pull apart lol

then i went looking for smaller versions and found one for a keychain
THAT was a bitch to take apart and put back together w/o breaking it, and as a result, i snapped 2 of those cubes before i perfected the process

all in all i re-assembled 10 different cubes

by pure dumb luck i managed to solve the cube the normal way only 3 out of 7 times on average

i guess i'm more of a hands-on geek than a in-the-head type
-yeah that makes sense, just like i said in the /cgi-bin hell thread [.. now that i have it working, i can rip it apart and see what makes it tick...]

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tafkact
Highlie

Posts: 614
From: nowhere, man
Registered: Jan 2000

posted December 15, 2001 19:33     Click Here to See the Profile for tafkact     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
oh yeah, and who remembers the rubiks' TRIANGLE? and i think there was a rubiks' ball/globe one too

heheh, i never got the triangle one taken apart w/o breaking it


OH oh, and what about Rubik's Revenge? the tiles one, all tied together with fishing line (or some sort of string of that type)

that one was actually easy to solve, and of course you couldn't take that apart without destroying it, i guess everyone knew about the re-assembly method by then

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AgentOBorg
Geek Apprentice

Posts: 47
From: The 666th Layer of the Abyss
Registered: Feb 2000

posted December 16, 2001 09:12     Click Here to See the Profile for AgentOBorg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Angry Rooster:
I was always amazed at how few people figured out the reassembly method...

Certainly made me feel special though, until this thread I was the only person I knew to figure it out


This method wore out my cube -- and it never lasted, 'cause my sister had to go mix it up again! -- why couldn't she just play with her own cube?

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greycat
Super Geek

Posts: 182
From:
Registered: Oct 2001

posted December 17, 2001 06:41     Click Here to See the Profile for greycat     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had 2 different books that had instructions for solving the Rubik's Cube. They were slightly different, and I combined the best parts of each one. I used to be able to solve a Cube in under 2 minutes. But I've forgotten the hard parts (bottom layer) now.

I had a "triangle" too, which was of course a tetrahedron (pyramid). I don't recall whether I was able to solve that one.

I had a 4x4 cube, but I never solved that one.

I also had a couple cylinder-based puzzles. One of them had colored balls that slid up and down, and the other had chain links. The chain links had "top", "bottom" and "middle" variants, so it was slightly harder than the balls (except that the chain links puzzle only had 4 sides, whereas the balls had like 6 or so). Anyway, those were fairly easy ones.

I had some fun with a Rubik's Snake too. That was a long "strip" of triangular pieces (with square bases) which could rotate 90 degrees. The Snake could be formed into a ball-like shape with a bit of difficulty, or into other shapes.

There were a few other puzzles that I don't remember clearly. I think they're still in my parents' house.

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quantumfluff
Highlie

Posts: 672
From: the ether
Registered: Jun 2000

posted December 17, 2001 08:34     Click Here to See the Profile for quantumfluff   Click Here to Email quantumfluff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by homesalad:
Well the point is, that at one of them one of the guys there was working a 5X5 rubiks cube, which I hadn't seen before. So it still has 6 sides, but each side has 25 squares on it. It was pretty crazy, he'd never done a 5X5 before, and in like an hour or two, (with a beer in one hand) he'd figured out the solution. I was impressed.

I'm trying to visualize it, but I'm not sure it's all that difficult. Let's say you can get the center 3x3 of each side to be the same color. Isn't the remaining problem of the corners the same as a 3x3 cube? It seems like getting the centers right should e easy. I was never a big cube solver myself, so can anyone else confirm this?

Anyway, I'm impressed that the guy was able to manipulate the cube with the beer in one hand. I would have to wear one of those hats which hold the beer and have a long straw to your mouth. Hey, maybe a CamelBack filled with tequila. Yes! A new product idea. The "Camel-FlatOnYour-Back". It holds two liters of your favorite alcoholic beverage, to both hydrate and dehydrate at the same time!

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annie
Super Geek

Posts: 241
From: somewhere in Canada
Registered: Sep 2001

posted December 17, 2001 10:55     Click Here to See the Profile for annie   Click Here to Email annie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by greycat:
I also had a couple cylinder-based puzzles. One of them had colored balls that slid up and down, and the other had chain links. The chain links had "top", "bottom" and "middle" variants, so it was slightly harder than the balls (except that the chain links puzzle only had 4 sides, whereas the balls had like 6 or so). Anyway, those were fairly easy ones.

I had some fun with a Rubik's Snake too. That was a long "strip" of triangular pieces (with square bases) which could rotate 90 degrees. The Snake could be formed into a ball-like shape with a bit of difficulty, or into other shapes.


Sounds like some of the puzzles my uncle had. I remember I was so proud when I learned how to make the snake into a ball. But i never had enough patience to solve the Rubik's cube, and I felt that if I used a book I was cheating.

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the world will have to end someday; hopefully not while i'm around.

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CrawGator
Alpha Geek

Posts: 326
From: the heart of Cajun country
Registered: Apr 2000

posted December 17, 2001 11:59     Click Here to See the Profile for CrawGator   Click Here to Email CrawGator     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I still have all puzzles from when I was a kid.

2 Rubik's cubes
Rubik's snake
Pyraminx
Orb
Rubik's magic small and large versions

I can still solve them all, just takes more time now.

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CrawGator

A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. Douglas Adams Mostly Harmless

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ginacanadiangeek
Newbie

Posts: 6
From: Canada
Registered: Dec 2001

posted December 20, 2001 19:31     Click Here to See the Profile for ginacanadiangeek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rubick's cubes are far too unsophisticated to even be mentioned in any forum on this website!

Are there any battery powered rubick's cubes?

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greycat
Super Geek

Posts: 182
From:
Registered: Oct 2001

posted December 21, 2001 05:31     Click Here to See the Profile for greycat     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You don't need to be powered to be sophisticated. Remember the World Abacus Expo storyline?

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WinTel man
unregistered
posted December 23, 2001 16:27           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ginacanadiangeek:
Rubick's cubes are far too unsophisticated to even be mentioned in any forum on this website!

Are there any battery powered rubick's cubes?


Are you kidding or something? This is a site for Mac heads, sophisticated for them is a 20 MHz CPU. Anyway, I doubt a Macs video card can support enough colors to show a proper picture of a Rubik's cube.

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homesalad
Super Geek

Posts: 216
From: Port Townsend, WA, USA
Registered: Oct 2001

posted December 24, 2001 08:50     Click Here to See the Profile for homesalad   Click Here to Email homesalad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Oh Jeez...Here we go again....Well, there will be no CPU wars on this thread...Please Recall, I started this thread...

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theJacob
Super Geek

Posts: 141
From: Colorado
Registered: Nov 2001

posted December 27, 2001 18:55     Click Here to See the Profile for theJacob   Click Here to Email theJacob     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi everyone. I'm back.

Oh boy. Computer wars again. We need more Megaherz Myth JOTs.

20 megz...my first computer was 20 (25 "turbo").

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Intellegnce+Laziness=Efficency

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BlueAntoid
Geek

Posts: 63
From: Colorado
Registered: Dec 2001

posted January 06, 2002 17:57     Click Here to See the Profile for BlueAntoid   Click Here to Email BlueAntoid     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My dad had a 4X4 Cube, but somebody stole it. I can't figure them out, anyway.

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iballoondesign
Alpha Geek

Posts: 283
From: Midland, TX
Registered: Dec 2001

posted January 08, 2002 19:30     Click Here to See the Profile for iballoondesign   Click Here to Email iballoondesign     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't understand - when I look at the cube and I thought it would be easy to solution. I took wrong mouth. I couldn't finish it in my lifetime. I will never able to get thing done and I decide to peel and put back color together and show off my dad. Ta-da!

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Swiss Mercenary
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation.

Posts: 1461
From: All the way from the land of Chocolate, Cheese and Cuckoo Clocks.
Registered: Feb 2000

posted January 09, 2002 05:38     Click Here to See the Profile for Swiss Mercenary   Click Here to Email Swiss Mercenary     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Behind one of the centre squares is a small plastic cover that you can pop off and get at the screw holding the cude together.
By undoing this the cube comes apart and then you can reassemble in the correct manner.

Now how did I know this? Is my success at all those 'Solve the Cube' competitions now finally explained?

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Bregalad
Super Geek

Posts: 203
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Registered: Jan 2002

posted January 09, 2002 18:36     Click Here to See the Profile for Bregalad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Back when the plastic rubik's cube first appeared in the early 1980's, the hallways of my high school were lined with kids trying to beat each other at solving the puzzle. I wasn't the geekiest guy around so I eventually broke down and bought a book called the Simple Solution to Rubik's Cube. All the steps were short and easily memorized, and the decision points had a short list of possible scenarios. Unfortunately it was a very slow method and I only beat 2 minutes when I was lucky and the cube hadn't been well scrambled. The method also fell down if somebody had taken the cube apart and reversed one of the edge pieces before scrambling it.

After most people had gotten bored with the cube I became obsessed with reversing a single piece without taking it apart, knowing that it must be possible. For months I produced interesting patterns and discovered a quick way to "solve" the cube with 3 spots out of place. Then one day I looked down at what looked like another solved cube (most repetitive patterns eventually undo themselves) and decided to give up. When I went to put the cube back on the shelf with the blue side facing me I saw that it wasn't all blue. I had finally achieved my goal, but couldn't remember the hundreds of steps I'd used to get there

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greycat
Super Geek

Posts: 182
From:
Registered: Oct 2001

posted January 10, 2002 07:36     Click Here to See the Profile for greycat     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you flip a single edge piece, or rotate a single corner piece, the Cube becomes unsolvable. Proving this is beyond my mathematical capabilities, but I'm 100% certain it's true. It's a parity thing.

A more interesting question is whether you can solve a Cube (or equivalently, convert a solved Cube into one) with exactly two edge pieces flipped, or exactly two corner pieces rotated the same direction, etc. I don't know the answers to this set of questions.

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Steen
SuperBlabberMouth!

Posts: 1162
From: Maryville, TN, USA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted January 10, 2002 09:45     Click Here to See the Profile for Steen   Click Here to Email Steen     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Heck, why not just make sure it's impossible to solve. Take two cubes and swap an edge piece between them so that each has one too many squares of two colors and one too few squares of two other colors.

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Bregalad
Super Geek

Posts: 203
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Registered: Jan 2002

posted January 10, 2002 12:49     Click Here to See the Profile for Bregalad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Solving it with two diagonally opposite edge pieces flipped is definitely possible. That's probably what I was thinking about the other night when I wrote that post. Either that or my brother took my cube apart when I wasn't looking. *shrug* I should go search my parents' house for cubes because it's likely that I left one in that state. My 20 year old memories are a little fuzzy. Aren't yours? (for those of you over the age of 20)

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