Hey, everyone. So, yeah, it’s been a while. Again. Like almost exactly a year. My last post was about the Kickstarter GoCube campaign, and here I am again talking about the same thing. See, the campaign funded, they produced the cube, and I’ve got one on my desk. The technology is pretty incredible; they crammed a lot of stuff into a cube that still manages to perform pretty well.
I don’t do unboxings all that often, but I wanted to support the campaign and get back into the swing of things on this blog and my YouTube channel. So, why not? Here’s the unboxing-slash-review, with all sorts of comments following below the fold:
Just a quick post about the first and only unbxoing on my Youtube channel, showcasing three Moyu cubes: a black Aolong, black Yulong, and colored translucent Yulong:
It’s been a long while since I ordered new 3x3s. Although a lot of new cubes have been released lately, and the few I’ve tried have no doubt impressed me, none have displaced the Zhanchi as king of all things 3×3 (for me). The two that have come close are Cyoubx’ Maru CX-3 and the Moyu Weilong, the older sibling of the Aolong. Both are interesting, but have their flaws. The Weilong is smooth but locky. The CX-3 performs well, but is hard to tension properly and is really square, with almost no beveling on the outer edges. A picky criticism, perhaps, but it does have an odd “hand-feel” because of it. Continue reading →
I’m not a big megaminx solver, as you can tell from my walk-through post. But I do find it a fun break from cubic puzzles. I prefer Dayan megaminxes (with ridges). Like all things Dayan, the stickerless version is excellent. I also have a black one at work, but have never liked the look of the cheap OEM stickers — with their darker shades and poor contrast between like colors. The greens, for example, always seemed too similar, as did red and orange. And cream is just a nasty color.
So, when The Cubicle added Megaminx stickers to their totally awesome sticker picker series, I ordered replacements for the OEM stickers Here’s an overproduced video showing the before/after results (complete with explosions!):
It’s been a little while since my last post — that monster parity article that still has my head hurting. I’ve got a couple things in the works, but I put them aside when I got a Maru CX3 the other day. I’m really impressed with the cube, and I found my turn style and speed improving with it. On a whim, I thought I’d give a sub-60 PLL Time Attack another go with the CX3. I came awfully close, at 60.65 seconds. Here’s the video (with apologies for some of the out-of-frameness):
If you’ve followed this blog at all, you’ll know that I’ve spent a fair bit of time looking for vendors that could print custom logo stickers (for branded center stickers). As my logo grew more refined and intricate, so did my expectations from vendors.
The logo started as a monochrome/grayscale simple stylized G that I printed on my laser printer. I eventually had a sheet of that logo printed, as I described in my first sticker post. From there, the logo evolved into a G on a colored background resembling a scrambled cube, the letter setoff by a white stroke. I eventually discovered oliverstickers.com, which is run by Olivér Nagy, a really nice guy from Budapest who prints stickers for a lot of European cubers. He printed me a good amount of stock in that logo at great prices; as I blogged about those stickers, the stock quality was good and full-color printing was sharp enough. There was slight pixelation, but only up-close; from a normal distance, they look great. The pricing was excellent (about $13 to my door), and they arrived within two weeks of ordering, even with shipping from Hungary. Here’s a link to the logo section of his shop. When I developed my new logo sting for my videos, the logo evolved once more — adding a drop shadow, a reflection/glare, and a bit more refinement to the G’s size and placement.
I was about to place another order with Olivér, when Bradley (Izo) of puzzleaddictions.com, knowing I was looking for a domestic sticker printer, made me some test stickers. They’re terrific:
I haven’t really posted many hardware reviews on the site, mostly because, as a mediocre solver, I’ve tended to feel like my opinion and knowledge of cubes was not very valuable. But I do think I have a discerning eye (or, as it were, touch) and that, in some ways, an average cuber’s views are more interesting (as we are still wading our way through hardware and techniques). So, sheepishly I proceed….
I’m excited to have purchased a Camcuber Zhanchi SE, which is an OEM Dayan Zhanchi that has received Cameron Browns custom “tune up.” Cameron sells them at his shop for $39.99 (plus $5 more for the Special Edition). When I tried to buy it a month ago, the site listed it as sold-out. I emailed to see about pre-orders, and got a near immediate response. Cameron was working on a new batch, and they’d ship soon. So, I pre-ordered, got a shipping update about three weeks later, and the cube arrived two days after that. I was surprised to find it nicely wrapped in holiday paper with a bow and candy cane and all. A really nice touch over the holidays.
Before I get into the review, here’s an excerpt from the description page: Continue reading →