Cubing

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by bostjan, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    So here's my nerdiest hobby: cubing.

    When I was a little kid, everybody wanted a Rubik's cube. I begged my dad for one, he bought me one eventually, and, like just about every other kid in the early 80's, I had no idea how to get anywhere with it.

    Fast-forward to adult life. I was at a convention, and they were giving away magic cubes with company logos on them as a marketing trinket. I picked one up and actually started to try my hand at developing an algorithm-based solution. A week later, I had something very basic, but I could do it. For the next year or so, I was all about analysis of the stupid puzzle, trying to learn something new, and I eventually worked out an intermediate-level solution for it. I was pretty proud of myself, since no one else seemed to have really developed anything in between solving for the first time and competitive speed solving. But, thinking objectively, other than for pedagogy, my solution really serves no practical purpose.

    Anybody else into cubing? I'm pretty darn casual about it.

    I recently got ahold of a couple Dayan Zhanchi stickerless. Makes my old freebie cubes feel like something from the stone age.

    [​IMG]

    The other thing is that switching between playing guitar and twisty puzzles seems to be a little straining on the wrist. IDK if anybody else here has ever really spent a considerable amount of time with a twisty puzzle, but I'd be interested in hearing whether the problem is unique to me or not.
     
  2. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    I have this family friend cousin that's an idiot but he can do these things in like zero seconds. Blows my mind.
     
  3. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Yeeah, I've seen folks get down to, like, 5-6 seconds. It's ridiculous. I showed a friend how I could do one in ~20 seconds, and he said I should do a competition. Then, I had to explain to him how an average time of 20s equates to a placement of higher than 16 000th place in the WCA championship (look it up if you think I'm exaggerating). That's not what I'm all about, though. I prefer trying to come up with my own unique way to solve the puzzle, rather than just memorizing someone else's solution, then practicing it until I can do it one-handed while eating a bowl of cereal with the other hand. :lol:
     
  4. Alborz

    Alborz SS.org Regular

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    i am sub 2minutes but thats nothing special at all is it?
     
  5. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Puts you light years ahead of all of the people who pull the stickers off in frustration. :lol:

    When I first started, it took me a really long time to solve one. My weak spot was my method. After I tuned up my method with some more effective steps, I was able to cut my time in half, and then in half again. Do you go layer by layer?
     
  6. poopyalligator

    poopyalligator Dr.Poopyalligator

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    I am a bit of a cubing enthusiast. The one you pictured is actually my favorite cube (for speed). Overall feel and solidness I actually really like the MoYu ghost cube. I am in the same boat as you, all of my friends tell me that I should do cubing competitions and I have to explain to them that 30 seconds isn't anything special in the cubing world lol.
     
  7. StrmRidr

    StrmRidr Hide your Jacksons

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    I used to be way into it. I still solve my 3x3 once in a while just to keep the muscle memory. I'm far from the fastest but my best time is 27 seconds. I have a collection with a bunch of different cubes, 3x3 to 8x8, megaminx, gigaminx, square-1, square-2, fisher cube, etc. I can still solve most of them except the square-1 and square-2. I only solved it a handful of times and completely forgot the algorithms over the years.
     
  8. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I was the same way with chess when I was a kid. I could beat all of my friends at chess consistently (thanks to Chessmaster on NES :lol: ), but when I was encouraged to participate in a tournament, I was pummeled into oblivion by serious chess players. Same goes for cubing. I can impress just about anyone who has never really been impressed by cubing before, but there are probably 2 year old kids out there who can solve three cubes in the time it takes me to do one. :lol:

    I've tried some different brands of cubes: DaYan, Mefferts, MF8, QiYi, etc. They all have their little quirks, but I have yet to find one that isn't at least a mile ahead of a Rubik's brand right out of the box. DaYan, so far, is my favourite. They are lighter and seem to have a balance of slippy and spongey that I find satisfying.

    Which methods do you use?

    Yeah, I haven't practiced for speed in a few years now, but I have a 2x2x2 and 3x3x3 under the seat of my car in case I have to travel and get stuck in a line at the drive thru or have to stop at a hotel. I find it's a good way to shift gears in my brain. If I'm thinking about something too much, I can clear my head by running through 5-6 solutions, then get back to whatever I was supposed to be working on a lot easier.

    I've never tried anything bigger than 5x5x5, and I got too frustrated with Square-1. :lol: I used to have all sorts of odd puzzles, like Rubik's Snake and Rubik's UFO, but I lost them over the years.
     
  9. poopyalligator

    poopyalligator Dr.Poopyalligator

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    I actually go by the old layer method. I need to work on other strategies.
     
  10. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    You mean layer-by-layer?

    Switching from layer-by-layer to first-two-layers is a pretty easy adjustment.

    Make the cross just the same, then use the next two layers to build 1x2 blocks containing the first layer corner and matching second layer edge pieces, and then intuitively insert them into place. Once you get the hang of it, you won't need to remember any algorithms for anything but the third layer, and it'll shave off a little bit of time, typically.

    I have an intermediate method that I developed in order to try to bridge the gap between layer-by-layer, which I saw as too slow with Friedrich, which I consider requiring too much memorization to simply jump into. But where Friedrich orients the pieces before placing them, I chose to place the pieces then orient them, because it just seemed more natural for me to think that way.

    Here's a somewhat sloppy description of the method.

    To get around too many algorithms, I tried to utilize "algorithm vignettes." So some of the corner placing and edge orienting algorithms use the same sequence of moves repeated one, two, or three times for different effects.

    I've tried it against layer-by-layer, and it shaved almost 10 seconds off my time without having to use any real-time brain power, but it does require a little bit more memorization.
     

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