Wednesday, 4 March 2015

A Cube-o-saurus-Rex!!

LanLan Rex Cube!!
No dinosaurs though!!!

Today, I've been messing around getting a portable version of Linux running on my laptop, called Portable Ubuntu Remix, but now it's installing a whole heap of updates. So I thought I'd write a post.

Now I've written my post on the Original Rubik's Cube, I can write about the twisty I was going to write about, the Rex Cube!!

The reason I wanted to write about it then was because it was the last cube I had solved. But that's by-the-by!

Anywho, the Rex Cube, unlike a Rubik's Cube, is a vertex-turning cube. For those who don't know what that is, a Rubik's Cube is a face-turning as a whole square side turns (all nine pieces), no matter which side. Where as on a Rex Cube select pieces (three petals and a centre on each side, plus the three edge pieces about the corner) rotate about each corner. Because of this and the way the pieces are cut (cut - the lines in which the pieces turn), some of the pieces overlap and can be moved by turning more than one corner. This is especially predominant one the centre pieces, as all four corners on a face can move the centre piece and therefore give the face a false colour. That's why it is important to remember the common colour scheme for cubes; White opposite Yellow, Red opposite Orange, Blue opposite Green (with Red, White then Blue clockwise around one corner).

Leftmost corner 'L' - Rightmost corner 'R'
That may sound quite complicated, but the entire thing only requires you to learn one algorithm to be able to solve it ... and it's really simple!!! I'll even tell you it now! Apply the following algorithm with one corner facing you on the top face. Therefore, the rightmost corner on the top face is 'R' and the leftmost corner on the top face is 'L'. The apostrophe means a counter-clockwise turn and no apostrophe means a clockwise turn. And it's as simple as this:

R L' R' L

That's it!! But that's not the reason I enjoy it....

The reason is, that algorithm has to be used with a lot of thought when it comes to the last parts of the solve, meaning the last three sides. The first three sides are pretty simple as you don't have anything to mess up, but once you have three sides done, getting the last three solved requires you to think (quite a bit for me!) and apply setup moves in order to preserve what you've already done.

Because of this, I find that every time I come back to the Rex Cube I have to pause and think, quite a lot, how I'm going to use the algorithm to move what piece where!!

Checkerboard Pattern on a Rex Cube!!
I suppose it will become easier with practise, as with anything, but because I've only solved the Rex Cube 10 times at the most, it's not second nature yet!!

The Rex Cube is made by LanLan and turns extremely well, even without lubrication! You can purchase one from here (with free shipping) for $20 (~£14) or from Witeden here for $8.59 (~£5.59) with a small shipping fee.

That's all for now!!!

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