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 Post subject: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick issue
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:28 pm 
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I recieved this in my inbox today. I guess you could say I'm famous now, as Meffert has quoted me and others from this post:
viewtopic.php?p=275648#p275648
Meffert Newsletter wrote:
14 Feb. 2011


Subject: Puzzle News as of Feb 14. 2012 - Regarding the 30th Anniversary Mini USB Stick


Hi All!

Some of you are having problems to log in to our Affiliate Program please try using the following link.http://www.mefferts.com/Affiliate_Progr ... .php#login


Regarding the Meffert's 30th Anniversery USB, there appears to be a shorting problem if the mini USB stick is inserted upside down. Please see a posting by Konrad and NType3 below on how to address this issue.

Konrad wrote:
NType3 wrote:
If there's an error on a port, it is shut off. Use a higher power port (USB 2.0, probably, no? I would be thoroughly surprised if it were USB 3.0)
I do not want to derail this thread, but because the USB stick is part of the delivery, it should be OK discussing it here.
...
The thing is, I can not trust this stick to work as reliable as other USB sticks.
It has fulfilled the task of transporting the pdf file to me, but I'll never use it again for normal business. I'll test the stick from my second Treasure Chest when it arrives and hope for a better performance. In principle, I like the idea of a keyring USB and the special appearance of the Meffert's stick.

I'm an ELET major (Electronics Engineering Technology) so I know a thing or two about electrical stuff. My appologies for the huge font, but I wanted people to read it.

Okay, I may have mentioned this somewhere earlier, but now I will repeat it. The USB stick suffers from a critical design flaw. Take your Meffert USB stick out and look at the connector tab. You will see a two exposed sides to the USB connector: One of those sides has the four gold contact tabs on it, and the other side is bare metal. There is literally nothing to prevent the USB stick from being inserted up-side-down. The vast majority of USB devices have a rectangular cage protecting the contact pins and preventing improper insertion. The Meffert's USB stick lacks this protective cage. If you insert the USB stick upside down, the metallic side will create a short circuit between the +5 volts pin and the Ground pin (0 volts), possibly frying your motherboard! Before you insert this stick into your computer, closely examine the inside of the USB port. You sill see four metallic prongs which will normally make contact with the USB device when it is plugged in. Make double sure that you position the USB stick so that the four contact pads on the stick will make contact with the prongs inside the USB port. Once you have retrieved the PDF file from the USB stick, I recommend that you do not use the stick again.

Konrad, the problem you experienced with the Meffert USB plug was that you inserted it backwards and shorted out the USB port. Most motherboards have some form of overcurrent protection on their USB ports, but many do not. Your motherboard turned off the USB to prevent frying the USB controller, or possibly the entire board or even shorting the power supply. Many older motherboards use fuses or have no overcurrent protection at all. In the event of a blown fuse, the port will not work again and will require extensive micro-soldering tools to repair, which can often be more expensive than replacing the entire board. Or worse, in the event of an unfused USB port, the power supply will short out and possibly fry the entire board or at the very least your computer will likely crash and need rebooting due to the voltage drop. Overcurrent protection may have saved your board, but computers contain extremely delicate electronics and may not be able to withstand being shorted repeatedly. Notebook computers are especially susceptible. I almost lost my Laptop once to due to a faulty connection inside USB-powered cooling pad fan that shorted my USB port.

Use extreme caution that you are inserting the USB stick correctly. In many legal jurisdictions, an electronics manufacturer/distributor/retailer could be held liable for damage due to faulty electronics, but I doubt that goods imported from Hong Kong would qualify.

In order to safely insert this USB stick you should closely examine the inside of the USB port you intend to use; identify four metallic protruding pins and ensure that the four golden contact strips on the USB are in the correct orientation to make contact.

The Manufacturer claimed when contacted that he has shipped large quantities of mini USB memory sticks throughout Asia and never had a single complaint, he simply explained that Asian Children 9 years and up know how to insert a USB stick matching the contact point in both the computer and USB stick they do not need these for Dummies fool proof metal suround casing which makes the USB twice as thick. He further added that in Asia the regular Coffee Shops do not have to put up warning notices for their customers to understand that Hot Coffee is Hot and can burn ones mouth and lips. Whist this may have been a bit sarcastic and over the top, I do agree that haste makes waste and that we should think about what we are doing study the ojective carefully before doing it. In addition to this, it is very common to find USB's that are no larger than a sim card. Most offices here use this type and people seem to have no problem using them.

However because of concern by some of our puzzlers who may feel that they are not up to the task of inserting the Mini USB the right way up every time we will from tonight offer two versions one without the USB Free Gift and one with the Free gift included. The price is the same.

After the present stock runs out we will not re-stock these unique Mini USB 30th Anniversary Keychains. When you order please make sure you double check to make sure you have clicked on the 30th. Anniversary Pyraminx you want to receive-the one with the USB or the one without Meffert's 30th Anniversary USB thumb drive Keychain.

Meffert's 30th Anniversary USB thumb drive



Special Notice:

All our puzzles are covered by Worldwide International Copyright, Patents and Applications. We will take the harshest legal action against anyone copying our puzzles. Claiming the maximum penalty allowed under the new China Patent and Copyright law which came into effect October 9th. 2009 and was updated December 12, 2010 offerring even more protection with penalties up to RMB 1,000,000.00 per infringement.

Free Air-shipping to anywhere in the world where there is a Post Office.

Please Note: that once you receive our auto-responder email acknowledging your payment, that means that your order is being processed and will be shipped promptly, you should receive it usually within two to three weeks. We only send out Tracking numbers if requested, as their main function is to prevent your local Post Man or others from stealing your puzzle.

This mainly applies to Italy where local theft of parcels has been quite common in the last two years. The Hong Kong Post Office only Guarantees delivery to your country but takes no responsibility for the safety of your local Postal delivery.

We are still receiving a lot of orders with incomplete addresses: Your Zip code and Country name must be clearly shown, if your parcel is returned to us due to incomplete / incorrect address we will charge you the second postage fee which in some case can be more than what you paid for your whole puzzle order.

Our Shopping cart is heavily subsidized and designed not to make a profit but hopefully just break even, so any waste like double shipping is not fair to the other puzzlers that are more careful, we hope that you understand.

For any previous Newsletters, please click on the NEWS icon on our Home Page.

Should you wish to be removed from this mailing list; just click "reply" and type "remove" in the subject line. Please make sure that you show clearly the email address you wish to have removed so that we can honor your request.

Or click on the following link: http://www.mefferts.com/newsletter/page ... me=mailing to remove yourself by entering your email address and clicking enter, you may have to copy and paste this complete link into your browser if the hyperlink does not work.

Happy Puzzling
Ulrich and Uwe

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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:19 am 
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"Up"? On many computers, the ports are sideways. There is no up. I don't have the stick in question, just ordinary sticks that only fit one way. Regardless, I can't tell which way they go in unless I get a flashlight to peer into the hole, which I never do of course because I know that if it didn't fit one way, it will fit the other. Maybe there should have been a standard where one side of the port is externally obviously different from the other somehow, when they invented USB. I know that when I have a North American electrical plug, I see plainly that the bigger metal bit goes into the bigger hole, for instance, but when the metal bits are the same, I assume it does not matter.


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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:27 am 
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Manufacturer comments seems insulting. Is he crazy ? Is it his way to thank his customers ?
Why Mefferts are relieving them ?

2 rubbish puzzles in a year, a [watch it!] USB key and now this newsletter (just copy and paste from the forum...) and no apologies at all ! Moreover, Meffert won't stop selling these keys, but wait until the stock runs out before replacing the keys... I understand Meffert think I am a stupid sucker!

It seems that I am about to stop buying Meffert's puzzles.


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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:06 am 
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Today my second Treasure Chest arrived. I was quoted in the Jade and Mefferts Newsletters as well, therefore I want to share my experience with my second USB stick:
This one works on two different quite modern notebooks.
My conclusion is that there is a generic problem with the stick - you have to be careful with the orientation of - and an individual problem with my first stick.
As I have been very careful with the orientation and because the stick worked twice without a problem, I have one theory only that could explain additional damage: On one of my notebooks there is a combined SATA/USB port. I tried to plug it into this port once. Maybe this could explain the additional individual problem?

The first stick still works but only in a certain special environment on an old PC.
There is no damage on all ports on four different computers where I used the first stick.

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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:56 am 
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I sent that thread to Uwe to have the 'issue' checked out. As I said, I have had no problem on my HP laptop, my HP net-book, Mr. Man's Thinkpad, or either of the desktops that I regularly use. I now have 4 of the sticks. Not a one caused me a problem. BUT, in fairness, bugs mac-book shut down one of here USB ports when she plugged it in. It said something about not having enough power to that port. I can't explain this any further because I don't understand it. When we removed the USB and put in a different one, no damage was done to the port.

On a stupid whim, I flipped those sticks both rightside and wrongside up to see if they would cause my computers to do the same. Not a problem was found...but, again, on both the Thinkpad and my HP, we had one port that had the same power message show up.

I also don't think the manufacturer is crazy. He's simply making a comment on the culture that the rest of the world sees American's as. I mean think about it, it is true. McDonald's being sued because the coffee was hot. Who buys coffee and thinks it's cold? (No high horse I promise)

Stardust4ever, I apologize for the mistake in the name. I did correct that for Uwe, but he must have made this newsletter before my proofreading got back to him.

I think his solution is fine. The USB has always been listed as a FREE GIFT. Not a single person has paid for it. If you don't like it, and you don't want to use it...well, you didn't pay for it.

And as for the information inside the USB, I'd really like to say thank you to the wonderful fellow who declared my writing 'rubbish' that should be given away...IT WAS! And if you don't like it, then don't open it. Easy solution to all the worlds problems.

Many of you were not in the 'puzzle scene' in the 1990's. For those of us who were, we remember the dry spell that was. There was almost nothing coming out of Meffert's. See, Uwe closed up shop and ran away to the Phillipines to raise fish. He's mentioned more than once that life would be so easy if he did that again....Many of these crap puzzles that you complain about so much are costing him money to produce. He's not getting anything off of them. The gear pyraminx-not picked up by any major retailer, the mosiac? same thing.

Oh, and I'll tell you, he has 3 more coming out this year that I think are pretty nifty-but please, if all you are going to do is write about how bad ALL the Meffert's puzzles are, please don't buy them. If you do and mention it here, it eventually gets back to Uwe and then he asks me about it and I get upset. I don't like being upset. Not that I don't understand being upset when a puzzle doesn't meet expectations-the mosaic that I got after the prototype-I didn't like it either. But the others..well, I seem to remember saying (and reading in a newsletter) that the geared pyraminx wasn't for speed solving. It might not apply here, but I've read complaints because it couldn't be done...And for those that have that wonky gear, well it is a pyramid, not a cube-you can't turn it the same way.

Ok, I'll get off my soap box now. Thank you for letting me vent-obviously it's been another tough day :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:39 am 
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With all due respect, but I do not agree.
If he's not making any money with these puzzles, what about collector's like me, that although do not have much money continue to buy and support Meffert's?
My skewb broke, I paid 42 dollars for the Mosaic that broke, my Fisher Cube came broken and my Gear Cube, well, the caps needed a little mod to stay on. Not a single e-mail was answered.
Of course, my prof. piramynx works like a charm, I love my Volcano and I will buy another Gear Cube just to have one normal, one Fisher's stickered and one extreme.

What I mean is: We probably need to thank him for staying in an almost dead industry for all these years, but as customers we due have the right to criticize. Selling a 42 dollar puzzle that does not work is the same as me going to my paypal account and donating 42 dollars for Uwe Meffert, which I do not agree.


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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:46 am 
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katsmom wrote:
BUT, in fairness, bugs mac-book shut down one of here USB ports when she plugged it in. It said something about not having enough power to that port. I can't explain this any further because I don't understand it. When we removed the USB and put in a different one, no damage was done to the port.
If the Mefferts USB is plugged in the wrong way around (which you can't do on USB sticks which have the metal shield around the connector) it can cause a direct connection between +5V and 0V. This is like connecting a wire across the terminals of a battery - a LOT of current flows between the + and -, the battery gets hot and dies very quicky (it may even explode!)

To stop this from happening on a USB port, if too much current (>500mA) is taken, this is detected and the port is shut down. This is especially true on laptops. If the overcurrent detection circuit is absent or not quick enough, this can cause a dip in the main internal supply which would cause the computer to shut down. If the USB being used is on an external powered Hub, then the Hub would shut down, probably without effecting the PC.

So what happens on a particular computer depends on how well it is designed to deal with problems on its USB port.

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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:59 am 
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We all have opinions don't we. Read my last paragraph and you'll see that I agree with you. Believe it or not, $42 is a lot for a puzzle from me as well. I'm not making excuses for him one way or the other. I'm just saying that Saying we paid for the USB when he very clearly states it is a free gift makes me believe that many don't bother to read.

And what I personally find hilarious is the "Meffert's sold a bad puzzle" followed very shortly by "Meffert's should mass produce this" That phrase comes up every time a new puzzle is shown (ok, not every time but you should be able to understand my point).

I'm trying to warn of a possibility in the future...do with it what you will. Oh, and don't be surprised if Uwe one day writes a newsletter saying much the same thing. (The lines about the coffee...those were mild compared to his initial thoughts. I didn't realize such a gentle man could think those types of thoughts :shock: )

And thanks for explaining that Gus. I didn't know that. I guess that means some of our older laptops might not react the same way as the newer ones. (I"m having thoughts now....evil thoughts...there is this girl I really detest and her laptop is about 7 or so years old..... :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: )

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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:23 am 
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As some of the posts here do Meffert's bashing again, I'm asking myself: Am I the only lucky one?
I got 26 puzzles from Meffert's in the last year, some manufactured by them, some from Dayan and just sold by them.
Especially I got
- three Mosaic cubes. (I have bought a ball core for one out of curiosity. It is super smooth now, the other two are good as well.)
- one Professor Pyraminx (the Trignis / Volcano was before that, but it was OK too)
- one Gearshift
- two Treasure Chest (from Jade)
- one Gear Pyraminx
And nothing to complain about? What's wrong with me? :lol: :lol: :lol:

Please note, I have not complained about my USB stick, I just wanted to give information about certain problems I had.

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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:03 am 
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Maybe I just have really bad luck. I am one who has been vocal about quality issues and disappointments which I have experienced over the past couple of years. But I feel that as a paying customer who has purchased at least 1 of every new puzzle that Meffert’s has produced during that time frame that I should have the right to voice my opinions even if they are not popular. I voice my criticisms not because I want Meffert’s (or any other manufacture) to be upset about it, but instead to show that there are some manufacturing and quality issues and that I would love to see them fixed. I love the puzzles that Meffert’s has put out, I just don’t love the manufacturing quality issues that I’ve had with them. I have had to buy 3 Professor Pyraminxes to get a good one. I have had to buy 2 Mosaic Cubes to get one that at least doesn’t pop apart any time you turn one of the corners. I had to buy 2 Gear Shifts to get one that can actually be opened in all 3 directions. And I have had to re-align and re-apply stickers on most of the puzzles. All of these issues to me seem to be manufacturing problems, not problems inherent to the puzzles themselves.

Note that in none of these cases have I ever asked for a free replacement. I have attempted to contact Meffert’s to request the ability to purchase pieces to replace bent screws (the typical problem I had with my Professor Pyraminxes and Mosaic Cube) or replacement stickers but never got any responses to these requests. So I have always just taken the next logical approach and purchased replacement puzzles hoping and praying that the replacements will be good.

I want to get a replacement for my Gear Pyraminx but I’m going to wait. Unlike the others, the Gear Pyraminx to me does seem like a flawed puzzle. Mine is completely unusable as it currently is. I want to purchase another one but am waiting to see if anything is going to be done to improve it before doing so. As I have stated elsewhere, I have requested the ability to purchase a full set of stickers (including the missing center ones which it seems they are now starting to include). At least then I would attempt to completely disassembly mine and use replacement screws and washers to try to fix it (to gain access to the screws I would probably end up destroying the stickers that are currently on it). But I know that I’ll never get a response to my request to purchase replacement stickers so I’ll just wait to see if the issues with this puzzle get straightened out before I order another.

I just hope that criticisms don’t force Meffert’s to stop producing new puzzles, but I do hope for some better QA. Also, there has been a couple of cases recently where information about the puzzles have changed after we purchased them and we only find out about these changes after the puzzles have shipped. The lack of magnets in the Wellness Ball Cube and center stickers on the Gear Pyraminx are the cases I’m referring to. This is showing a lack of communication which should be easy to address. In both of these cases it would have been nice if an email was sent out to those who preordered the puzzles letting us know of the changes before they shipped. In the case of the Gear Pyraminx I would have gladly requested the DIY version if given the option.

Sorry for going off topic.

edit to get back on topic: USB is an industry standard. The lack of the grounded outer shell over the connector makes these devices non-compliant to the USB standard. See http://www.usb.org for more information.

With this in mind, if I was the type of person who would respond to the comments about how the world views Americans due to the hot coffee thing I would say something about how the world views the Chinese for their lack of conforming to international safety standards…

But I’m not that type of person :)


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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:31 am 
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Gus wrote:
katsmom wrote:
BUT, in fairness, bugs mac-book shut down one of here USB ports when she plugged it in. It said something about not having enough power to that port. I can't explain this any further because I don't understand it. When we removed the USB and put in a different one, no damage was done to the port.
If the Mefferts USB is plugged in the wrong way around (which you can't do on USB sticks which have the metal shield around the connector) it can cause a direct connection between +5V and 0V. This is like connecting a wire across the terminals of a battery - a LOT of current flows between the + and -, the battery gets hot and dies very quicky (it may even explode!)

To stop this from happening on a USB port, if too much current (>500mA) is taken, this is detected and the port is shut down. This is especially true on laptops. If the overcurrent detection circuit is absent or not quick enough, this can cause a dip in the main internal supply which would cause the computer to shut down. If the USB being used is on an external powered Hub, then the Hub would shut down, probably without effecting the PC.

So what happens on a particular computer depends on how well it is designed to deal with problems on its USB port.
I believe you have stated this better than I originally did, which was quoted in Meffert's newsletter. The USB keys that the manufacturer mentioned which were the size of SIM cards, likely were just a small PCB wafer with contacts and a chip on it. I have seen a few of these, but the backside was simply part of the non-conductive board itself, probably laminated as well.

Nevertheless, in any instance, relying on fault-protection circuitry to prevent user error is never a good idea.
Volitar Prime wrote:
Sorry for going off topic.

edit to get back on topic: USB is an industry standard. The lack of the grounded outer shell over the connector makes these devices non-compliant to the USB standard. See http://www.usb.org for more information.

With this in mind, if I was the type of person who would respond to the comments about how the world views Americans due to the hot coffee thing I would say something about how the world views the Chinese for their lack of conforming to international safety standards…

But I’m not that type of person :)
I whole-heartedly agree with your statement. Every protocol has some type of industry standard associated with it. For example, when you plug a device into a US wall socket, the device expects 120 VAC 60Hz or something very close to that. European wall sockets are 220V 50Hz, which necessitates the need for a completely different socket type. Likewise, you can't plug USB keys into FireWire ports. Different protocols call for different standards.

Pages 27 and 28 of this document refer to the mechanical interface for USB type "A" plug:
http://www.usb.org/developers/devclass_ ... Conn20.pdf

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Last edited by stardust4ever on Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:37 pm 
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Katsmom,

I am not responding to bash Mefferts.
I am thankful for his efforts to bring us new puzzles.

I would like to explain the supprise that I experianced when I first plugged in this memory stick.

Imagine my world, where EVERY usb can ONLY be plugged in the correct way.
I have never looked at the orientation.
I fact, I plug them in by "feel" because the USB ports are on the BACK side of the computer which is under the desk.
There is no up or down, as the computer is in the "tower" orientation.

So the proceedure that has been working for me for as long as there have been usb ports on my computer is:
Feel the usb location - attempt to plug in - if fail, then flip usb - plug in successful.

This memeory stick instantly shut down my computer. (without damage thankfully)

Now that I have had this experiance, I will be much more careful.
I am also warning the rest of my family, in case these inferior style usb connectors become more common.

The quote in the newsletter was over the top in my opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:06 pm 
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You guys don't understand my thoughts. Fair enough, I don't half the time either. :lol:

I had no real intention of answering this post. Like I said, I don't work for Uwe so I really could care less but I'm really disgusted by the foul language I saw above. There really is no call for it. Especially when I read this:

alacoume wrote:
Personnaly, I didn't face any problem using this USB key in 2 computers (maybe this is just luck?).

Actually, what's inside is not very interesting.
So, maybe the best solution is to throw the USB key directly in the bin (with its content) and be very careful next time you want to buy something from Mefferts (mosaic, gear pyraminx and now usb key: what happen to Meffert's ?)


Ok, so you don't like what's inside then throw it away. But if you had no problems as stated on 31 January then why post? That is what I really don't understand. It's band-wagonism. And that entire thread about the treasure chest just reaks of it, as does every other thread where someone says they have a problem. One person complains and we all jump on board.

Reading back, Konrad said he had something happen and was concerned/looking for advice then bam! Everyone has a problem. The same has happened with the TomZ and Mf8 3x4x5. One pop or loose piece and they all are unplayable. Mine isn't, but maybe I'm super lucky that way. I'm curious to see what happens with TomZ and Calvin's new puzzle. I wonder if one pop will lead to a long list of complaints.

Meffert's, Mf8, SevenTowns, V-cubes, it doesn't matter what company is making puzzles, none are good enough for members of the forum as late. This used to be a fun place to come and look for information on new toys. It used to be a good place to read about events and peoples desire to make something new. Lately, all it is is a complaint forum. I do understand the frustrations. I have them too. (I won't even begin to tell you all about a recent order from Bits and Pieces.) With all 4 of the companies I've listed above...I just choose to smile and let it go. Life is too short.

Two bad puzzles out of what he has produced in the past 2 years? Not bad all things considered. But then you don't need to buy them. Look, I can do you a huge favor. I'll ask Uwe to take you off his mailing list. That way you won't be tempted to buy bad puzzles. (And that offer is open for anyone. If you don't want the newsletters anymore because the puzzles are so bad, do tell me and I'll send your information to the programmers to have you removed.) Oh, that sounds like I'm a triad type person. I just heard that last sentence with a rather evil voice inside my head. :lol: :lol:

And as for the foul language? *** DOES NOT make it any less foul. Control yourselves please.

*The saddest thing for me here is knowing that as you read this you will say-oh, but she's just friends with Meffert's so let's not stop the complaints. But the thing is, I feel this way every time I see this happen. And again, I can't say much because I know the thoughts in your head are the same...Oh, but she's just friends with..........insert name here.* Can we pleases go back to the positive helpful friendly forum we once were?

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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:01 pm 
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Responding to the 'band-wagonism': you seem to be making it out to be a pretty bad thing, when in reality it's very much part of human nature. No one wants to be the first one to come out with the problem. Take a recent example, the Jerry Sandusky case. One kid came out and the rest followed. It's nothing new and the posters aren't in the wrong for doing it. The point I'm trying to make is that I don't think it's right of you to be criticizing the thread and the posters within because of a problem Mefferts caused.

Ben


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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:47 pm 
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katsmom,

I agreed with your last post!


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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:52 pm 
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you ask "what happened to meffert's?" I think something happened to us. We started asking for more and more complicated puzzles. The more complicated the puzzles got, the harder it was to make them turn well. I don't think they have any real speedcubers at meffert's, so they probably didn't think it was a big deal to have to flatten out the sides, or turn a puzzle with more care than usual. They probably didn't realize that the gear pyraminx was "unusable."

As for the USB stick, they realized that we usually see them with the protective casing; When the manufacturer wouldn't replace it, meffert's just said that if you didn't want it they would give you the option to not have it. What would you have them do, throw them out? Because we are used to the protective casing, we think that is the only right way to do it. Just draw an X on the side that should be facing forward (or up) when inserted. I don't think that this is a big deal.

I wouldn't call meffert's trash because they produced some puzzles (or USB sticks) that didn't work out.

I don't mean to say that meffert's had all rights to send out an extremely faulted puzzle, but the company isn't trash for doing it.

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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:41 am 
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katsmom wrote:
Ok, so you don't like what's inside then throw it away. But if you had no problems as stated on 31 January then why post? That is what I really don't understand. It's band-wagonism. And that entire thread about the treasure chest just reaks of it, as does every other thread where someone says they have a problem. One person complains and we all jump on board.
Every forum I've ever been a member of had it's fair share of complaints. Most forums are far worse than twistypuzzles. Google "Troll" if you don't believe me. Complaints are valid when justified. The best type of complaints are critiques, which are highly detailed complaints which contain useful feedback. Complaints are one of many methods that exist to change the status quo, provided you complain to the right individual. There are also unjustified complaints, which normally equates to "whining". Most children learn to whine at a fairly young age; from then on it takes years to break the habit. As mature adults (most of us, anyway), we have learned to voice our opinions in a productive and civil manner. I believe the majority of the concerns brought up by myself and other forum members have been legitimate. Some puzzle designs just don't work well no matter how much optimization is applied (Meffert Gear Pyraminx is a likely candidate), whereas others have been proven throughout history, like the original Pyraminx and Rubik's Cube.

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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:56 am 
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My posts just said one thing :
When a company sells something, this thing have to be the more perfect it could be. Otherwise, it should be explicitely written that theses things have imperfections and described in details.
That's simply customer's respect.

Whan I bought a puzzle, I want to know first what I bought. That's all. Otherwise, I feel theft.

I agree with Startdust4ever when he says that some puzzle designs just don't work. I am not complaining about that, but I just say that company should test puzzles before selling them and if they want to sell bad working puzzles, they need to explicitely mention it. This is, I repeat, simply elementary business rules related to customer respect.


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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 4:04 am 
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I think a lot of the complaints which people post on the TP forum may have a some "me too" bias. Some points may be justified, some may be nitpicking, some may be propaganda. Who knows? I believe the (so called?) problems with recent puzzles is just because of the complexity of the puzzles (look at how simple the original 3x3x3 mech is) and the difficulty of bringing them into mass-production. Working in manufacturing industry gives me a lot of insight into these problems. And remember guys ...
katsmom wrote:
This used to be a fun place to come and look for information on new toys. It used to be a good place to read about events and peoples desire to make something new. Lately, all it is is a complaint forum. I do understand the frustrations. I have them too. (I won't even begin to tell you all about a recent order from Bits and Pieces.) With all 4 of the companies I've listed above...I just choose to smile and let it go. Life is too short.
... we are all talking about TOYS :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:21 am 
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Quote:
we are all talking about TOYS :roll:

Yes, but these toys are not free. We are actually talking about money.


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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:25 am 
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alacoume wrote:
My posts just said one thing :
When a company sells something, this thing have to be the more perfect it could be. ...
alacoume wrote:
Quote:
we are all talking about TOYS :roll:

Yes, but these toys are not free. We are actually talking about money.
Do you even care to read the posts of others between your complaining and insulting posts? We are talking about the USB key and it is a FREE gift. katsmom wrote it above and it was clearly stated when you ordered it on the Jade site.
Quote:
Free Anniversary 4GB Intel USB, regular price US$18.00, which includes around 100MB of special puzzle info.
Treasure which is only available inside the Gift cube Free and cannot be bought.
stardust4ever wrote:
...As mature adults (most of us, anyway), we have learned to voice our opinions in a productive and civil manner. ....
Is alacoume an adult? Is he / she a mature adult? If he / she is still in the whining age we can forgive him. If he /she is an adult I can not consider these posts coming from a mature person.
I quote your original post from above:
alacoume wrote:
Manufacturer comments seems insulting. Is he crazy ? Is it his way to thank his customers ?
Why Mefferts are relieving them ?

2 rubbish puzzles in a year, a [watch it!] USB key and now this newsletter (just copy and paste from the forum...) and no apologies at all ! Moreover, Meffert won't stop selling these keys, but wait until the stock runs out before replacing the keys... I understand Meffert think I am a stupid sucker!

It seems that I am about to stop buying Meffert's puzzles.
I'm not a native English speaker and my English skills are limited. In my ears these sentences sound like another example of insulting and foul language.
You have even used an f-word in your original post. (My English skills were sufficient to recognize this. Obviously changed by a moderator to `[watch it!]`).
If I were a moderator I would ask an English teacher, if these and similar sentences deserve a red card.

`2 rubbish puzzles` probably includes the Mosaic Cube. The original Fadi Cube is still available from Shapeways, costs $ 326.59 - a little fortune for some - and is worse than the mass-produced Mosaic Cube. (Stated by the designer Oskar himself.) I do not doubt that several people had bad luck with the Mosaic Cube regarding bent screws and all, but my three stand up and say "Not all of us are rubbish" When the ball core became available as a perfect solution, several have stated that after breaking the puzzle in it was turning OK and refrained from ordering the perfect solution which would have cost them still a fraction of the Fadi Cube.

EDIT: As I found just this
alacoume wrote:
Yes, but my wife disagree these priorities... I think she is going to be very angry when she is going to see all the cubes packages which are going to arrive soon....
alacoume does not really qualify for the whining age. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:26 am 
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Do you honestly think Mefferts is inlcuding the USB stick as a free gift? I highly doubt it. The price of the USB is probably absorbed into the price of the puzzle.


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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:14 am 
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Benf207 wrote:
Do you honestly think Mefferts is inlcuding the USB stick as a free gift? I highly doubt it. The price of the USB is probably absorbed into the price of the puzzle.
Some have said that the puzzle is a steal at the price of $ 36. If you do not want the "free gift" included you might consider to order one here for just $ 241.75 + shipping costs. :lol:
Everybody who has ordered it from Jade had the clear information "free gift". If you believe it or not, is your business.

BTW, somebody has asked for an "X" saying this is the upside. There is the Meffert's logo on the upside, isn't it?
I guess after all the information exchanged here and in the "Treasure Chest thread" the orientation of the stick is not a real problem any longer. Anybody still uncertain can compare it with a standard USB stick.
I had a problem unequal to the orientation thing, but was not really complaining, was I? I just tried to share experiences.

I really hope that the quiet majority of the TP forum has to report good experiences with Meffert's and Jade.
I have no special relationship with Uwe but I consider him more a friend than a business man. I am ready to believe that he is sponsoring many of the puzzles he brought to us in the last years.
If you do not believe this and if you do not believe the "free gift", everybody is free not to order from this `lying` company.

Personally, I have ordered well over a hundred puzzles from Meffert's over the years and there is not a single issue remaining unresolved. My understanding of statistics tell me that I'm not the only one.
It is in the human nature that complaints are uttered readily but positive comments are made very rarely.

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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:11 am 
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alacoume wrote:
Quote:
we are all talking about TOYS :roll:

Yes, but these toys are not free. We are actually talking about money.

Perhaps you could consider collecting money instead? I hear they make that stuff to a pretty good standard consistantly.

It's very sad when you start to see your puzzles as nothing more than financial figures. It's not really keeping with the spirit of the puzzling community.

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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:49 pm 
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Konrad, I don't really find it necessary to single out a specific TP member and go on a rant by re-quoting his posts. I also wasn't specifically asking for counterexamples to my statement that people here have generally been civil about things. I try not to dwell over the negative, but instead focus on positive things. It this thread continues to go south, I will stop posting in this topic and unwatch it. I merely quoted the newsletter to be informative, also because the previous discussion totally derailed the Treasure Chest thread, which is partly my fault to blame for that. Sorry.

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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:42 am 
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Ladies and Gentlemen,

We can all stand to perhaps slow down on this topic a bit. I've left it mostly alone as there are legitimate issues to discuss, but keep in mind that respectful discussion is always a requirement. We'll not have Sandy paying money to host people sniping at each other.

My take: It is perfectly acceptable to complain if a puzzle is of poor quality. This definition will differ with expectations, but people are entitled to their opinion. Just do so respectfully, and make sure you are adding value by expressing your thoughts. A certain number of "hey, mine wasn't great either" is a good indication of how it is being received by the community, but at a certain point things get pointlessly negative.

If you are *really* upset at the value for what you paid you are of course welcome to request your money back. But it is hard to have too much sympathy for the serially disappointed. You can stop buying at any time.

Regarding Free: A free item that causes harm is worthy of complaint, regardless of how little was spent for it. One has an expectation of lack-of-harm. If it simply didn't work, no foul, but shorting a port and rebooting a computer can cause a loss of data and it is reasonable to be unhappy about that. I have to admit it isn't the best PR to compare one's customers unfavorably to children, and I can absolutely back up that I have a computer between a desk and a wall with no possible way to see the USB ports. I plug things 100% by feel on these.

As it happens though, I haven't bought this yet so I have nothing to complain about. And given this long (and sometimes ranting) thread, I think it fair to say most any forum member should (by now) have nothing to complain about as they are quite well forewarned on these matters.

So let's consider these issues well explored and proceed forward in a positive and constructive manner please :)

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:29 am 
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Konrad wrote:
I have no special relationship with Uwe but I consider him more a friend than a business man. I am ready to believe that he is sponsoring many of the puzzles he brought to us in the last years.
That's the most insightful thing I've read about Uwe yet. I'm glad he's still in business. He's terrible at PR and makes lots of mistakes but his heart is in the right place and in my opinion, he's doing a net good for the community.

I think Uwe should avoid gimmicks like a USB flash device and stick to puzzles. Sure we all want to read about the history of the Pyraminx but that's what the Internet is for, we don't need a physical copy of the bits that tell us the story. I also think things like carrying pouches and such should be avoided. I want a puzzle with my order, not a puzzle + some bonus item.

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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:24 am 
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Yeah, Uwe is Dalai Lama and Paganotis is mother Teresa of Calcutta.


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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:39 am 
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cisco wrote:
Yeah, Uwe is Dalai Lama and Paganotis is mother Teresa of Calcutta.
Cisco, could you kindly explain what Uwe and Paganotis have to do with the Dalai Lama (a "reincarnated" Buddhist monk/ Tibetan ruler) and Mother Teresa (a devout Catholic missionary to India)? I am very much intrigued by your unusual comparison.

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Yeah, Uwe is Dalai Lama and Paganotis is mother Teresa of Calcutta.


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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:27 am 
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I meant they are really nice guys that spend a lot of money just to keep us happy. And to bring peace to the world.


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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:25 am 
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I get it now...

Puzzles = Peace! 8-)

Knock Offs = War... :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:55 am 
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cisco wrote:
Yeah, Uwe is Dalai Lama and Paganotis is mother Teresa of Calcutta.
cisco wrote:
I meant they are really nice guys that spend a lot of money just to keep us happy. And to bring peace to the world.
cisco wrote:
I don't want to be annoying (and I feel I am), but most of us are not saying anything about quality. Sure v-cubes are of very high quality, they have the best 7x7 out there (and the first one), the best 5x5, and arguably the best 6x6.

But we are not disappointed because of quality. We are disappointed because of the lack of fidelity with the original v3 design.
Forum Rules wrote:
The use of sarcasm is a dangerous grey area that can often have you inadvertently crossing the line because of the emotionally detached quality of written text.
Paganotis = Mr. Panagiotis VERDES http://www.v-cubes.com/about.php?2

EDIT:
stardust4ever wrote:
Konrad, I don't really find it necessary to single out a specific TP member and go on a rant by re-quoting his posts. ....
I beg to disagree. My credo is to stand up if somebody is using foul play or foul language. If somebody does not want to be quoted, he / she should be a bit more careful with his / her wording. (BTW, why `re-quoting` ? I have quoted the specific member in one post only.)
I feel personally insulted too by
Quote:
Actually, what's inside is not very interesting.
So, maybe the best solution is to throw the USB key directly in the bin (with its content)
Part of the content is a Professor Pyraminx tutorial I wrote for Uwe and a lot of effort from me, Burgo and bmenrigh went into it.
(It was well accepted by the forum, even when it was written more for the beginner type of twisty puzzler.)

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Last edited by Konrad on Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:48 pm 
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I was not being sarcastic at all about v-cubes quality. I really meant all the words in the third quote.

The other two, well, yeah. I think it was obvious, next time I will use an image such as http://www.gamer.ru/system/attached_ima ... 00-281.jpg I just feel they're just doing bussiness, and sometimes they're doing it wrong. I have received several expensive low quality puzzles from mefferts, even broken ones, and I'm still waiting for mr Uwe's word (and it's been 5 emails, several pictures, and 1 year and something ago). So yeah, I guess I've been scammed.

About v-cubes, you know what I think. They haven't still done the v3 and they try to fool us.

Just saying.


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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:47 pm 
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Quote:
I feel personally insulted too by
Quote:
Actually, what's inside is not very interesting.
So, maybe the best solution is to throw the USB key directly in the bin (with its content)
Part of the content is a Profeesor Pyraminx tutorial I wrote for Uwe and a lot of effort from me, Burgo and bmenrigh went into it.
(It was well accepted by the forum, even when it was written more for the beginner type of twisty puzzler.)


Well, I apologize for this post. It seems I have been too rude. What I have tried to say is that after opening the 100M file, I feel disapointed because almost 3/4 of the content was not interesting me a lot.
By the way, I am very impressed by the work you do, with Burgo and others TP members, in the solving process of cubes. I would like to invest more in that also, but my work doesn't let me enough time for that.

Otherwise, for clarification, my first post in this topic, which was also a bit tough, means just one thing : I have been chocked by the last newsletter of Meffert. It seems that I have been the only one in this case?!... Actually, I don't understand Meffert's communication strategy!! In my business, if I were doing the same with my customers, I will be unemployed...
After, to enlarge the discussion, I have written something meaning that :
If a buy a 3 stars puzzle and receive a zero star puzzle, I am unhappy. If a buy a zero star puzzle and receive a zero star puzzle, I am happy. That's all.


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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:23 pm 
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alacoume wrote:
...Well, I apologize for this post. It seems I have been too rude. What I have tried to say is that after opening the 100M file, I feel disapointed because almost 3/4 of the content was not interesting me a lot.
By the way, I am very impressed by the work you do, with Burgo and others TP members, in the solving process of cubes. I would like to invest more in that also, but my work doesn't let me enough time for that.
....
OK then, maybe I was a bit tough on you too. From my point of view, I consider this settled between the two of us. Here is a smiley confirming this :)
Let's be constructive again: I really like the Treasure Chest. In the light of this, is this USB key thing not a pretty unimportant detail?
Nobody has reported a real damage so far and all these posts and technical information will probably avoid any future damage.

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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:37 pm 
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Konrad wrote:
Let's be constructive again: I really like the Treasure Chest. In the light of this, is this USB key thing not a pretty unimportant detail?
Glad everything got settled. The Treasure Chest is a very wonderful puzzle, and the USB really has a huge treasure trove of information, tutorials, and trivia in it. Just make sure to insert it properly when retrieving said treasure trove! :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:31 pm 
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Well I received the treasure chest puzzle and it turns really bad! And when I got close to the solved state it just fell apart in my hands, and the USB gift fell out, and it hit my toe and caused a small bruise! I must say that I did not think that Mefferts could produce such a dangerous item. Yah Boo Sucks to Mefferts :twisted: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Meffert Newsletter: Meffert responds to the USB stick is
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:52 am 
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Gus wrote:
Well I received the treasure chest puzzle and it turns really bad!
Check to make sure all 20 of the edge/corner screws on your puzzle parts are tight. All of mine are tighted and it turns like a dream; no lube required. You still can't cut corners or speedcube it though. It wasn't meant for that.

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