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 Post subject: Rubik's UFO - Strange new mechanism
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2002 11:05 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2001 10:09 am
Location: Great State of Washington
Has anyone got one of these puzzles yet? I just got mine today and haven't messed with it too much. However, it does have a unique mechanism. It has 12 pieces, 6 on each side. However, you can rotate the puzzle in half in 3 different places, unlike the square 1 puzzle that only has 1 plane that it can swivel on. I don't think I have seen another puzzle made like this one. The hockey puck puzzles are not made like this are they? The one that I have only can turn 180 degrees on one plane.


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 Post subject: Loving the new design
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2002 2:51 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2000 2:32 am
I was a bit uneasy about the UFO at first -- it was tinier than I had expected, and seemed a bit fragile. So far, though, it has been sturdy, challenging, and reasonably easy to manipulate. I can't wait to see the permutations that our various plastic alchemists will design based around this mechanism!

Take care,

Peter


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 Post subject: Who's First?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2002 3:03 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2001 10:09 am
Location: Great State of Washington
Who is going to be the one to sacrifice their UFO to show us pictures of this mechanism? I know they are not that expensive, but I don't even know what you could make from these UFO pieces. Someone would have to make their own pieces to fit in this mechanism.

Time will tell


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 Post subject: UFO's old mechanism
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2002 11:05 am 
The mech should be the same as Rubik's Cheese, which I think is linked through Wayne's site--i seen to recall looking at the patent schematics. It turned four ways: equator, and three hemisphere rotations. And with the 6 color, 2 side deco scheme, the UFP makes more sense than the Cheese seemed to.

A sign of the Apocalypse has occurred: the new Rubik's company improved an old puzzle.

Jason


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 Post subject: Not Cheese
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2002 2:41 pm 
I got a couple of the UFO's, and have opened one up. It's fairly easy to do without damaging the puzzle. Just begin a twist in one direction (not on the equator) and then start twisting on another slice. It'll pop apart after a few tries.

The puzzle is actually very different from the Cheese puzzle, because the Cheese could not turn (at least not according to the patent) on the equator. It was really only six bi-colored pieces, not twelve pieces like the UFO. So the UFO is a much more interesting puzzle, from a difficulty standpoint.

That said, the UFO is a fairly nifty little mechanism, but I do have some gripes. The biggest is that it's difficult to turn on the equatorial slice because of the shape of the pieces. As you try to make a twist on the equator, the puzzle wants to turn on a different slice because of the way you have to hold it. It can be very frustrating to use due to this. They have made the unfortunate error of sacrificing easy puzzling for a dubious (UFO) theme. I also wish they had made the colored parts larger so they stood out more, and used better paint and bolder colors. Some of the colors they used seem a little transparent.

On the whole though, not a bad puzzle for under 10 bucks.


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 Post subject: Cheese
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2002 12:44 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 24, 1999 12:18 pm
Location: Palerang Shire, NSW, Australia
Dunno anout that. From what I remember looking at the patent, it did turn on the equator. I didn't think it did so at first but then I took a long look at it.

Just been checking over the patent and description again, and I'm convinced that the equators turned against each other.


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 Post subject: Re: Who's First?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2002 3:03 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2001 8:31 am
Location: New York
if i get one (ill order 2)
ill hack it up
but that wont be for a while


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 Post subject: Patents?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2002 4:57 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 19, 1999 3:02 am
Location: Canada
Are there any sites out there now which still allow you to view the full text/graphics for patents? I used to use Delphion for that, but now they're charging something like $200US/MONTH or some other figure which is equally obscene. :-/ L8r.


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 Post subject: Cheese patent
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2002 8:21 am 
I've examined that patent very carefully, and unless the design was changed for production and the changes weren't incorporated into the patent, it only turns on the three axes separated by 60 degrees, not the equator.


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 Post subject: Cheese patent
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2002 1:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2000 9:11 pm
Location: Dubuque, IA area
About a year ago I looked at the Cheese patent and also came to the conclusion that it did not rotate about its equator. After that, somebody (I don't remember who) told me that it did. Since then, I'm no longer sure. The way I originally saw it, I thought that the division between halves to not be a plane of motion, but rather, the point for assembling and glueing the two halves together. Now I'm not sure anymore.

The only person that I've heard that has an actual one is Hendrik Haak. (He has/had it in his online museum of puzzles.) Maybe someone needs to ask him.

Doug.


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 Post subject: Patents
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2002 1:44 pm 
Go directly to the Patent Office website at http://www.uspto.gov , it's much better than it used to be, and it's free to view online, but you've got to download an unusual viewer because of the image format.


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 Post subject: Cheese
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2002 1:58 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 24, 1999 12:18 pm
Location: Palerang Shire, NSW, Australia
I'll be hacking one up to give it a "proper" cheese shape. Not my original UFO mind you. That one is supposed to have a slightly inferior mech anyway. So I'll have to pick up a new one and wreck that.


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 Post subject: Huh???
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2002 8:21 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2000 8:27 pm
Location: Wilmington, NC, USA
A Cheese that doesn't turn at the equator doesn't sound like a very interesting puzzle. Why have two layers if it doesn't turn? Who has a Cheese and could tell us? Hendrik Haak, maybe?


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 Post subject: Alternative - no player needed
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2002 1:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 24, 1999 12:18 pm
Location: Palerang Shire, NSW, Australia
http://gb.espacenet.com/


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 Post subject: Equator
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2002 5:22 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 24, 1999 12:18 pm
Location: Palerang Shire, NSW, Australia
I do believe it turns against the equator because of the split lines on each "cheese slice". Also the fact that the pieces are open on each side and are not trapped by the extended bars from the centre ball.


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 Post subject: Cheese Axes
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2002 5:22 am 
The patent shows that the two parts that make up one slice are glued or otherwise welded together to capture the spokes extending from the core sphere. Three of the wedges are made like this, the other three are held in place by the first three wedges. Thus, each wedge is made from two fused parts, which were manufactured as bi-colored parts.

The patent also does identify only three axes of rotation, none of which are perpendicular to the equator. This means that the puzzle has only six rotating pieces, and as someone else in this chain said, isn't that interesting a puzzle.

Of course, they may have changed the mechanism for production (but I doubt it because it would have been a major change, and not covered by the patent). The only one who can tell us is someone who has an actual Cheese. Hendrik? Do you have an answer?


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