Online since 2002. Over 3300 puzzles, 2600 worldwide members, and 270,000 messages.

TwistyPuzzles.com Forum

It is currently Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:02 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: A year in the life of a puzzler
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:12 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2000 3:17 pm
Location: Hong Kong
This past year has been a puzzle for me and it has been very puzzling. I had not been all that interested in playing with my puzzles as I was too focused on finishing up a few degrees I started on and in July of 2007, I decided on a day I had nothing better to do to take a look once again at TwistyPuzzles.com. That set me off again, but this little story started last January. Thanks to my numerous posts on Twisty Puzzles, and finally working out how to archive emails, I am able to look back on the year and reminisce.

I guess everything started on 3 October 2008 when I built my first website (which sadly hasn’t been updated in a very long time). Pantazis chastised me for having so many puzzles and not showing them to the world so for a change, I listened to advice and got started. (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=11089)

On 2 November, Calvin Fan opened his new Now Store puzzle shop in Causeway Bay (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=11399) and I had the opportunity to meet Uwe Meffert again after many years. For some unknown reason he took a liking to me and I have had the pleasure of being able to call him a friend.

In November of last year Pantazis and I started emailing each other about his eminent visit to the Hong Kong Toys and Games fair (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=11727) Once the fair started, I brought you all fleeting glimpses of the events happening there in January (viewtopic.php?p=140323#p140323).

At the end of the month, I decided I had what it takes to join the long list of impressive builders and posted my disastrous first attempts at building a puzzle. (viewtopic.php?p=144249#p144249) She still sits proudly on my shelf right next to wall-e!

In March I was asked by Sandy to help with the moderation of the puzzle museum section of the website. I eagerly undertook this in the beginning and added a few updates. Sadly life and work has gotten in the way and I haven’t been holding up my end of the bargain. Time to get back to it. I promise I will attempt to start this again as soon as new puzzles are added to the queue. Not knowing how to edit photos has held up my end of this. Maybe that should be something for me to learn.

Other than a few purchases and a new thread called measurements according to Roxanne, (viewtopic.php?f=14&t=12551) not much happened for me puzzle wise until I was contacted in late April early may to display some of my puzzles at an exhibition in Macau. This took some doing to set up and a lot of time researching the puzzles that would be on display. I was quite pleased by my first show (viewtopic.php?p=167974#p167974) and have since been working on a larger exhibition at the local science museum. I’m still hoping to have that one up and running by summer.

In July of 2009, I had the great joy of seeing a puzzle made. (viewtopic.php?p=169532#p169532) I enjoyed that trip so much that in November of this past year I was taken to another factory much larger in China. That one I was asked not to write about, but I can tell you that the experience was truly amazing. (this time we watched dolls being made-not puzzles)
When we returned from that trip, Smaz helped me to make my first decent looking puzzle (viewtopic.php?p=170182#p170182) If I were truly honest, I would have to admit that he did 90% of the work though. Who knows, one day I may attempt something like this myself. Until then, I will continue to add wonderful custom made puzzles such as these: (viewtopic.php?p=149397#p149397) (viewtopic.php?p=126772#p126772)

Somewhere during the journey of the past year I became the de facto voice of Meffert’s puzzles on this forum. I’m not sure when or why it happened, it just did. I have had the great joy of getting to play with the new lineup and see the puzzles that are coming out. I’ve helped edit newsletters, and am currently giving my input on a wonderful new project he is starting up.

I’ve had battles with my conscience over my purchases and posts of many copied puzzles and still haven’t come to a final conclusion on what is right and wrong. I have my own thoughts and ideas and I’m sure they are very different for every person here.

I’ve seen Tony Fisher, Dave Litwin, Adam Cowen, Lee Tutt, Pantazis Houlis and Kelvin Stott all mass produce their simple ideas and by doing so, in their own simple way spread the joy of puzzling around the globe.

It has been a year for renewing old friendships and starting new ones. I’ve had the great fortune to be able to communicate with many great puzzlers on this forum and via private communications. Something I would have never dreamed about in the past. I am often overwhelmed by the company I keep here, and wonder how a simple English teacher could end up in the company of such great and brilliant people.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching the posts made by old builders and new upstarts. I’ve amassed a collection of puzzles that astounds most people who see it, and have enjoyed opening every package that comes in the mail. I look forward to the next year and can’t wait to see what it brings puzzle wise; not only in my purchases, but in the updates to the forum as well.

On closing, I urge everyone to look back on their own puzzling year and remember the joy it brought you. It’s been a pleasant morning of memories for me. I hope you enjoy walking down my version of memory lane.

_________________
Rox's Rambling Blog
Katsmom's Puzzling Videos


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A year in the life of a puzzler
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:07 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 12:19 pm
Man.... another year comes and goes.... so so so fast.

It wasn't that much of a year for me, in terms of buying lots of puzzles as I have in the first few years of collecting.

But I am happy, however, to add a Hexaminx, Gigaminx, Teraminx, and Petaminx to my collection this year.

I guess getting those kinda shortchanged me on buying other puzzles until after the new years! lol

Yeah, I have a somewhat long list of puzzles I have put off until then.


Rox, you have done an incredible amount for the puzzle community. Cheers to you!

_________________
http://www.rockstargames.com/V/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A year in the life of a puzzler
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:09 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 8:27 am
Location: AZ, United States
Katsmom,

That was a very nice read. What surprised me is that I actually remember that I've read pretty close to all the threads in your post; my favorites were the stories about your factory visits!

I like the idea of being able to record your experiences, perhaps to look back on in the future, so I hope you won't mind me sharing my year also:

As for myself this year, I really did not do much other than buy and buy and buy. But because of all the new puzzles that were produced, especially during the second half of the year, it really made puzzling much more eventful (and costly!) for me. A lot of them were really "impulse" buys because I could not resist it at the price at which they were offered.

This year I was able to own quite a few neat puzzles including 2 Rubik's Deluxe Edition cubes and a Dino Star, but due to one reason or another I had to sell those. Other notable purchases for me were 5 new Arxon Rubik's Wahns, 100 new 3x3 Rubik's brand cubes featuring sport teams, and 7 Holey Megaminxes.

Funny story about how I came to own 7 Holey Megaminxes... I was so excited about them and showed my dad right when they were announced, and he took a liking to them too. When Meffert's started taking orders, I placed an order immediately for 4 different types which I wanted and went about my day. My dad saw the announcement probably at the same time and told me later that day that he ordered 3 fearing that I did not see the announcement and that it would sell out before I saw it. Here we are 4 months later and they are still in stock :lol: I've never posted about this fearing that I might be called a "puzzle hog", but I think it's quite safe now to share. :lol:

I've also started modding very simple puzzles like the Bandaged Cube and the Fused Cube, both of which I've sold for the ASPCA. Only a portion of the proceeds for the first cube went to the charity to help me with the costs of the materials to start out, and 100% of the proceeds from the second auction went to charity, since I had the materials already. I found that this was a fun way to give back using really only my spare time, PLUS, I gain the knowledge, experience, and practice the basics of puzzle modding.

Towards the end of the year, I was fortunate enough to meet up with two other TP members at a Peter Piper Pizza location, and also got to play with many new puzzles: http://twistypuzzles.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=14704. When I met cubedude10 (Quentin), I believe he averaged in the 30 seconds, and during our last meet-up in November, I believe he has lowered his average to the mid 20 seconds, with his personal best at 13 or 14 seconds. I was really impressed!

I also look forward to starting new friendships this coming year - hopefully it will be a better one!

reeeech wrote:
Rox, you have done an incredible amount for the puzzle community. Cheers to you!


Much agreed!

Ben

[EDIT]
Just as I finish about typing up my year, it looks like I won't be let off the hook this year without spending an additional $42 on Meffert's new Pyraminx Crystal :lol:

I just reviewed some receipts from this year, and I sit there in front of the calculator in awe as I review my receipts from Mefferts. It appears that I've spent $442 with Meffert's alone so far this year :shock: With the Pyraminx Crystal, I'll be at $484! :shock: :shock: :shock: I might have to pay more attention to how much I spend next year! Now I'm truly terrified of going through the rest of my receipts.

What was the number for Puzzlers Anonymous again?

Ben

[EDITED AGAIN Dec. 19]

Katsmom, you did bring up a good point -- and that was that I didn't talk about my own achievements, in terms of solving - though I never really thought I achieved anything special. The only "achievements" that might be noteworthy is that I broke the sub-30 mark with a solve of 27.69 seconds on the 3x3, and that I nearly broke the 1 second mark on the Rubik's Magic with a solve of 1.07 seconds. I suppose 27.69 is a good time for someone who uses the beginner's method, only 5 "algorithms" (including 2 inverses), and who can't follow algorithms to save his life!

Ben

_________________
-Ben
I'm with Frank
PB: 2x2- 7.26 | 3x3- 27.69 | Magic- 1.07
In search of Erno Rubik signed cube.


Last edited by Ben on Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A year in the life of a puzzler
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:56 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2000 3:17 pm
Location: Hong Kong
Ah Ben, you spoke too soon! The Crystals are live now. But I knew that you would be spending more money before Christmas! :wink:

I wasn't writing to brag, that really wasn't the point. After a small series of pm's with Tony (I hope you don't mind my mentioning that), I was still feeling highly overwhelmed by all the people on this forum and in others that I enjoy writing to. I hope that next year is as fruitful puzzle wise as this year.

I am glad you wrote of your year, and encourage everyone to at least look back on what they have done, even if you don't write and share your achievements/high point/collections and whatever else you may want to write about.

As a last word on this posting, I would also like to ask that each and everyone of you remember to keep all of us on this forum in your Christmas prayers this year. I am a firm believer in the power of prayer for those who need it, and have always believed in the magic of Christmas. This time of year miracles seem to happen, and some of us more than others need that magic this Christmas.

_________________
Rox's Rambling Blog
Katsmom's Puzzling Videos


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A year in the life of a puzzler
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:09 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 6:58 pm
Location: Louisiana, US
I can't believe I've been so far already since only getting started into my twistypuzzle obsession since spring 2007, when I first discovered that a Rubik's 5x5x5 actually existed!!! 8-) I think one of my buddies was playing with a old Rubik's cube from somewhere, and I had watched a youtube video where someone had a 5x5x5. I'm like wtf, so I went to amazon.com and ordered my first Rubik's professor, and fell in love with it. I discovered twistypuzzles.com and went on an online shopping spree, with packages arriving from Hong Kong including Mefferts, C4Y, etc. I also got my Homer Simpson's head from Rubiks, and many other things.

One big hurdle I recently jumped was ordering the stl parts to a Crazy Comet, by Oskar van Deventer. $370, ouch :shock: Stickers (Dr Sticker), screws (15mm M3 hex), and springs (C4Y DIY) are on their way as well. My mom was more than a little bit annoyed when she had to pay $25 dollars in customs fees. She asked me, "What do you have in there, gold?" $370 for a Crazy Comet and another $370 for an expensive steel-printed "Bioform" sculpture by Bathsheba. Now I've really got to cut back... A lot! :oops:

http://www.shapeways.com/model/56260/crazy_comet.html
http://www.shapeways.com/model/40023/bioform.html

Kudos to you, Katsmom, for your contribution to the forums. I know I can trust that when you post something in the forums, it is not speculation, but truth. :wink:

_________________
My Creepy 3D Rubik's Cube Video
cisco wrote:
Yeah, Uwe is Dalai Lama and Paganotis is mother Teresa of Calcutta.


Last edited by stardust4ever on Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A year in the life of a puzzler
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:25 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:46 pm
I have had one crazy year in puzzling as well...two years ago many kids brought 3x3s to school, I was immediately interested and bought one for myself. After this I got every higher order cube from rubiks.com and learned to solve them through youtube.com. Then I lost interest and quit cubing for a year...

8 months ago I walk into a closing toy store and I manager hands me a "Broken 4x4" and says, "Here kid you can have this if you want." I took the puzzle and realized it was only pieces that had popped, I reassembled and did a solve in front of the man and he was so amazed. This got my interest in cubes sparked again and I went back to youtube for more information. While on youtube I discovered the video of when Sandy was on the T.V. program for his cube collection. I heard Sandy say he has a site called twistypuzzles.com. I thought that sounded interesting so I checked out the site and found the forum and was like :shock: :shock: :shock: . WHAT... there is puzzles that are not just cubes. So many questions...whats a gigaminx?...who's tony fisher?...whats a megaminx :lol: ?... So I did my research and when I thought I was ready applied to be a forum member. I started building custom puzzles the week after that and now I have made, a fisher's cube, Trajber's Ocatahedron, Icosaminx, Lolo's Octahedron, Mini Rhombiminx, Rhombic Triacontahedron, Jr. Barrel, Dino Dododecahedron, and the Hexagonal Domino. This has been my great year as a puzzler and I may have one more custom by new years.

_________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/uhrik


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A year in the life of a puzzler
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 5:40 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2005 12:31 am
Location: Greece, Australia, Thailand, India, Singapore.
Aaaah Rox... you silly girl... what are you trying to do? Make me cry??? I can deeply feel even the tiniest
of emotions in that post of yours. True, it has been a remarkable year in many levels and ways.

I am also honored to know a lovely lady who stays in Hong Kong and drinks coffee with Jack Sparrow.
If you remember, 14 months ago, I told you that you are in a strategic place for a puzzle collector. And now,
your collection can be matched by very few, and you have also become a puzzle VIP for more than one reasons. ;)

As for me, yes, I have been into puzzles for decades. But this last year, was so turbulent, I thought is was like
ten years!!! I enjoyed every moment of it, and thank God, managed to achieve things I could only dream of.

Mass producing, with my own company, a puzzle which was based on a new and simple (and now patented)
mechanical concept, is something I am very proud of. That also opened the flood gates for more simple
mechanical ideas (also different than others) which I hope will be known in the future too.

There were so many events, that I even cannot remember them all right now. From meeting for the first time
many more twisty puzzle forum members, to finding a twin brother of mine (long story LOL) whose collection
was shown at the Australian Collectors TV show!

In 2009, I met all big inventors someone can possibly meet. And I met them all at their own homes
(except Oskar, but I should be going to Holland some day LOL). There were endless trips around the world
and they were very tiring, but so enjoyable. The year 2009, the year of the Petaminx, was full of puzzles.
Some were legit, some were not, I just hope the forum readers can understand that designers need protection
of all kinds to survive in this (generally unethical) world. Even the smallest of efforts can make a big difference.
The kids should stop being selfish and thinking only about how they can save money for their own sake,
and instead start using their fresh mind to be creative and make new puzzles (then everyone can gain, it's a
win-win situation!).

And how about the new year which is coming soon? It seems so mysterious and so promising, that I have not
even dared to think about the possibilities. Will the end of the world come faster than 2012? (LOL) Or will there
be some new discovery that would save the world once and for all? (I prefer the latter scenario). Will there be
some new type of breath-taking puzzles? Will we able to complete the twisty puzzle database? (oops!!!)

My advice is to always use the chances that come by your way. If not, you may regret it for the rest of your life.

;)


Pantazis

_________________

Educational R&D, Gravity, 4D Symmetry, Puzzle Ninja, Matrix Mech, Alien Technology.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Konrad and 7 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

Forum powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group