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Fremont High School Underground Rubik's Cubing Society

by DDRKirby(ISQ)


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2/6/05 - rotfl...okay i guess sometime i'm gonna have to do like 3 different alg of the weeks to catch up.  lol.  this isn't good.
       - Gosu Girl got an official timed best single solve of 1:05.21.  Congrats!  ^_^
       - Have another student now, mostly through online collaboration.
       - Trying to get the club started.  Looking for an advisor.
       - Gosu Girl timed herself again.  57.56 seconds best.  And now she's doing an average.  She finished.  1:22.324.  wow.

Algorithm of the week

#11 (Week of 1/23/05 - 1/29/05)

N/A - (B'R'UR) x 6

It doesn't do anything.  It's a simple alg for repetition.  One interesting thing is that it'll change the orientation of the center pieces.  Do the B' with left index, the U with right index, and the R' and R with right hand.  A pretty fun one, actually.

Fastest Times:

(Times are in minutes:seconds format)

       ()-alternate codenames                       ()-unofficial times                               ()-proficiency
*Page *Name                                        *Best Avg of 10  *Best Rolling Avg  *Best Single    *Current Method  *Name of Current Cube

Yes   -DDRKirby(ISQ) (LL)                           0:24.801         0:24.801           0:20.10         New Method(12)   "Cubie"/"Simple and Clean"
No    -Keenster                                     ?:??.???         ?:??.???           0:57.4?         Other Method     "George"
No    -Delta Delta Bravo (Darth Vader)              ?:??.???         ?:??.???           ?:??.?? (1:00)  Old Method(7)    (Amus) - Missing
No    -Kat                                          ?:??.???         ?:??.???           ?:??.??         New Method(8)    "Enigma"
No    -ExtremeMotoDownhillChessRally (BladeRunner)  ?:??.???         ?:??.???           ?:??.??         New Method(5)    "Humphrey"
No    -alm1x3dup (pronounced "all mixed up")        ?:??.???         ?:??.???           ?:??.??         (Other LBL)      "Mundane"/"Intrigue"
No    -llama (pronounced "lamer")                   ?:??.???         ?:??.???           ?:??.??         New Method(8)    "Crispy"
No    -GosuGirl                                     1:22.324         1:22.324           0:57.56 (0:56)  New Method(8)    "Sparklette"

(later this'll look at lot nicer.  With pics and stuff.  methinks.)



Solve Video 1

Solve Video 2

Solve Video 3

These three solve videos weren't anything special...all around 31 seconds or something, but I just got my new webcam, so what the heck.  Actually they technically aren't "solves"...more like "almost-solves" because I leave it one turn away.  Wouldn't want to ruin the "2005th solve on the new year", now would I? =p
Also, yeah, the music is made by me...just something quick I whipped up in a few minutes.  Who knows, maybe I'll make it into a real song...=)



The "New Method"

The "new method" is the method currently being taught by DDRKirby(ISQ).  It's also the method that has the potential to give you the fastest times if you're proficient with it.  At first the new method is a bit tricky to grasp, but once you learn enough algorithms it clearly becomes the superior choice.  Also known as the Fridrich method outside of the FHSURCS.

Notable users of the "new method" are DDRKirby(ISQ), Kat, and llama.

This is a general outline of how you should learn the "new method".  I've made the steps that are harder to learn brighter so you can see the relative difficulties of the steps.

1. Learn how to do the cross on the white side.

2. Learn how to insert the corners, solving the whole first layer.
3. Learn how to insert the middle layer edges, solving the first two layers.
4. Learn the two orient edges algorithms for orienting the edges in the last layer.
5. Learn the two orient corners algorithms and use them in combinations to orient the corners in the last layer.
6. Learn the two permute corners algorithms to permute the corners in the last layer.
7. Learn the two permute edges algorithms to permute the edges in the last layer.  Use the permute corners and permute edges algorithms in combinations to solve the last layer.
8. Learn all of the 7 OLL algorithms when all 4 edges are already correctly oriented so you can always orient all corners in one step.
9. Learn algorithms for all 21 PLL states so that you can always permute the last layer in one step.
10. Learn all the F2L cases so you can solve the first two layers in one step.  If you've been solving with white cross on top, now's the time to switch to cross on the D face.
11. Learn all 57 OLL algorithms so that you can always orient the last layer in one step.
12. Practice, practice, practice!  Use a metronome to practice looking ahead in F2L (SLOW DOWN in first 2 layers!), practice repeating OLL and PLL algorithms, and revise all of your algorithms to make use of FSCs.
13. Learn even more advanced techniques, such as XCross, Partial Edge Control, COLL, and a million other things that I have no clue about.

Current practicioners of the "new method" and their progress:
Step 13 -
Step 12 - DDRKirby(ISQ)
Step 11 -
Step 10 -
Step 9   -
Step 8   - Kat, llama
Step 7   -
Step 6   -
Step 5   - Delta Delta Bravo, ExtremeMotoDownhillChessRally
Step 4   - Keenster, GosuGirl
Step 3   -
Step 2   -
Step 1   -

You won't be able to completely solve the cube until after you learn step 7, and even then you'll still be pretty slow.  At this point you should concentrate more on getting further along in development because praciticing won't do you a lot of good (the things that you practice will most likely become obsolete later).  Once you learn step 9, you should stop and practice what you've learned so far.  After step 9 is when you can start thinking about times and practice to make yourself faster.

Lucky Solves:
For the "new method", the definition for a lucky solve varies depending on your proficiency level.  I've tried to list everything that could be considered a lucky solve here.

-Having the cross already done is a lucky case.
-If you do F2L, then if one of the corner-edge pairs is already inserted after you do cross, that's a lucky solve.  The exception is when you intentionally plan it using XCross.
-If you do the first two layers separately, then having the 4 first layer corners already properly inserted is a lucky case.  Also, if the 4 middle edges are inserted properly after you finish the 4 corners, that's a lucky case as well.
-If the last layer pieces are all oriented correctly after the first 2 layers are solved, resulting in an OLL-skip, that's a lucky case.
-If the last layer pieces are all permuted corrently after OLL, resulting in a PLL-skip, that's a lucky case.

The "Old Method"

The "old method" is the method that DDRKirby(ISQ) used to use before he learned the "new method".  It's rather inefficient and inconsistent, but it doesn't involve a lot of steps and doesn't require the memorization of many algorithms.  In addition, it's a very good method for solving the cube into patterns.  It's a more intuitive method than most others.  Before DDRKirby(ISQ) stopped teaching this method, he trained Delta Delta Bravo in the "old method", who then proceeded to train ExtremeMotoDownhillChessRally.

Notable users of the "old method" are DDRKirby(ISQ), Delta Delta Bravo and ExtremeMotoDownhillChessRally.

This is a general outline of how you should learn the "old method".  I've made the steps that are harder to learn brighter so you can see the relative difficulties of the steps.

1. Learn how to do the cross on the white side.
2. Learn how to insert 3 of the corners in the first layer, leaving one unfixed.
3. Learn how to insert 3 of the middle layer edges using the unfixed corner as a swap point.

4. Learn how to permute and orient the edges in the last layer using the unfixed corner and edge as a swap point.  You also learn the easy algorithms for 2 special cases.
5. Learn how to permute the remaining corners by using the algorithm to swap the corner in the first layer with one in the last layer.
6. Learn the algorithm to orient 2 corners and use it to orient all of the remaining corners, solving the cube.
7. Practice, practice, practice!  Try to be able to look ahead so that there's no pauses in between algorithms.

Current practicioners of the "old method" and their progress:
Step 7 - DDRKirby(ISQ), Delta Delta Bravo, ExtremeMotoDownhillChessRally
Step 6 -
Step 5 -
Step 4 -
Step 3 -
Step 2 -
Step 1 -

This method doesn't have a lot of steps, and doesn't require you to memorize a lot of algorithms.  However, steps 4 and 5 can be a little tricky to understand.  After you finish with step 6 and can solve the cube, there's not much room for improvement other than simply practicing and increasing your turn rate.

Lucky Solves:
For the "old method", lucky solves aren't that common, but they still occur once in a while.  Any of the following can be considered a lucky case.

-Having the cross already solved is a lucky case.
-Having 3 corners in the first layer already inserted after the cross is a lucky case.
-Having the 3 non-swap point edges in the second layer already inserted after the first layer corners is a lucky case.
-Having the edges in the last layer already oriented and permuted correctly after the second layer edges are done is a lucky case.
-Having the corners already permuted correctly after finishing the last layer edges is a lucky case.
-Having the corners already oriented correctly after you permute them is a lucky case.

The "Other Method"

Not much is known about the "other method", except that it is used by Keenster, among others.  It's seems to be a layer-by-layer method, solving the first two layers much like the rudimentary version of the "new method" and then proceeding to use algorithms to solve the last layer.  However, there are some key differences that separate this method from the others, such as the fact that the entire cube is solved with the white cross on the top face, turning the entire cube over to look at the last layer pieces.  This precludes looking ahead, which is one of the main reasons DDRKirby(ISQ) is trying to stop the spread of this method.  Also, it seems to use a lot of D2 right index finger flicks, which look fancy, but may be tricky for newer members to perform.  In addition, you can't use a lot of FSCs in this method because not a lot of turns are U face turns (U face turns are opportunities to use your index fingers or thumbs in FSCs to link them with R and L face turns).  It's still a viable method, as proven by Keenster and his decent solve times using it, but if you want to be the best you'll stick with the "new method".

-=To Join=-
If you're a cuber at FHS that we don't know about, or even if you just think you have the potential to be a part of the FHSURCS, contact DDRKirby(ISQ) or any other member to arrange for an evaluation or a training session.

-=Member Requirements=-
These aren't gonna be enforced or anything, but there are a few things we ask of all FHSURCS members.

-Have a codename.
This is probably our strictest policy...we need everyone to have a codename.  I mean, this is the FHS =Underground= Rubik's Cubing Society, right? =)  It can be anything you want, as long as it's reasonable (no unpronouncable names or 202-letter names =p).  You can also have an alternate codename if you desire.  Try not to use your codenames outside of the FHSURCS, okay?  They're "codenames" for a reason.

-Have a cube.
Well, it might seem like common sense, but we just want to make sure that everyone in the FHSURCS actually has their own cube and isn't just always using someone else's.  Also, you should carry your cube with you whenever possible. =)

-Name your cubes.
Although if you don't want to name your cube, you don't have to, it's better if you give them names.  It's included in the information displayed in the members section, plus it'll help us distinguish between cubes, and it'll hopefully give you a greater sense of respect for your own cube as well. =p

-Have some method of communicating with other members.
Right now we're kind of disorganized, without set meeting days or anything, so it's important that you see other FHSURCS members (preferably DDRKirby(ISQ)) once in a while so we can make announcements and whatnot

-Send in times.
We'd like to keep a ranking of the members in the FHSURCS, and basically the only way we can do that is to collect times from individuals.  We don't need you to send in data for =all= your solves, but we ask that you send in a best average of 10 and a fastest single solve time.  These should be done with your own cube using an online timer or another timer that displays hundreths of seconds.  You get 15 seconds of inspection time for these solves, so it's probably easier to use an online timer that has that feature implemented.  For averages of 10, take 12 solves and remove the fastest and slowest time before taking the average.  Also, you get one redo solve if your cube happens to have a pop during one of your solves.  Members will be ranked according to their best average of 10 solves.  Also note that these averages aren't rolling averages.  In other words, you have to do all the solves in one sitting, and it has to be 12 (or 13) consecutive solves starting from the 1st one you did.

This is just a list of various terms used in the speedcubing world that you might not already know.  Some are specific to the FHSURCS, some aren't.  I've italicized the ones that are specific to our group, so you can avoid using them with other cubers.

Algorithm - A particular sequence of moves that you memorize and then apply while solving.  Usually algorithms can fall into categories, such as OLL algs and PLL algs.

Color Configuration - There are two main color configurations for the stickers on standard cubes.  One of them has the white face opposite of the yellow face, and the other one has the white face opposite of the blue face.  The white-blue configuration is also called the Japanese color configuration, and is the one that Macky uses.  However, the white-yellow configuration is more standard (not to mention it's the one that Cubie uses), so we're going to have that be our standard color configuration when we talk about cubing.

Cube Spinning - This refers to the technique where you hold the cube in one hand and grip opposite centers with the thumb and the middle finger while spinning the cube with your index finger and fourth finger.  Sometimes cubers will do this if they're bored or right after a solve.  Note that this is different from "cube twirling".

Cube Twirling - The technique where you hold opposite corners of the cube with your left thumb and middle finger, and then use your right hand to flick up one of the other corners, thus spinning the cube.  Different cubes are better for cube twirling...from my experience I've found that cubes with sharp corners tend to twirl longer.  You want to hold the corners firmly enough so that it won't fall down, but not too firm otherwise it'll create more friction and won't spin for as long.  This isn't the same thing as "cube spinning"...this one is more common and looks a little flashier as well.  Be careful when you're twirling, you don't want to drop your cube...

F2L - First 2 Layers.  The first step in the Fridrich System after the Cross.  This is also the step that takes up the most time, and consequently, the step that determines whether you get a fast solve or not.  In F2L, you solve the First 2 Layers of the cube at the same time, usually by matching the corner-edge pieces in the last layer and then inserting them in the right spots.  There are "algorithms" for every F2L case that you need to learn, but they're all really short and most of them are easy to see and remember, so usually they aren't considered actual algorithms.  Usually if I say "F2L" it means doing the first 2 layers at the same time, as in the Fridrich System.  If I say "first two layers" it usually means solving the first layer, then the second layer, sequentially.

FHSURCS - Fremont High School Underground Rubik's Cubing Society.  Originally founded by DDRKirby(ISQ) in order to promote cubing at FHS.

FSC - Finger Short-Cut.  Used to designate turns which are performed without using the whole hand.  Examples are pushing with an index finger or a thumb instead of repositioning your whole hand.

LL - Refers to the solving of the Last Layer of the cube.  This is also DDRKirby(ISQ)'s alternate codename.

Lucky Solve - A lucky solve is defined as a solve in which the cube happens to be in such a state so that you end up skipping at least one step.  Lucky cases are valid for averages of 10, but outside of the FHSURCS, they are usually not allowed for single solve times.  If you skipped the step intentionally by looking ahead and planning it, it doesn't count as a lucky solve.  Currently the FHSURCS allows lucky solves for all time submissions, as long as the cube was thouroughly scrambled at the start of the solve.  Specific rules for lucky solves are explained in the info for each solve method.

Macky - Shotaro "Macky" Makisumi.  Considered by many to be the top speedcuber in the world.  He's currently a freshman in high school and lives in Southern California.  I met him guy...his average is around 14-15 seconds, with a fastest solve of 12.11 seconds. O_o  So far the only one in the FHSURCS who has encountered Macky is DDRKirby(ISQ).  He's also the only person I've seen who uses m(_ _)m.  (It's supposed to be a person who fell forward on their face, with the _ _ being eyes and the m m being hands)  Thus, I'm designating that the official cubing emoticon. =p

OLL - Orientation of Last Layer.  The second to last step in the Fridrich System.  In this step you fix the orientations of all the pieces in the last layer.  There are a lot of OLL algorithms to learn (57 of them).  They're relatively short, but a lot of them are awkward to perform, so don't rush too much on them.  Save that for PLL.

One-Breath Solve - Refers to a solve done while holding one's breath.  This is an interesting training technique that can be used to improve the consistency of your times as while increasing your lung capacity.  The key to being able to do one-breath solves is to relax and remain calm.  You don't have to go extremely fast, so don't risk getting stuck otherwise you might end up failing.  Of course, you shouldn't attempt one-breath solves until you're at the right skill level.  We don't want any cubers passing out from lack of oxygen. =p

Partial Edge Control - This is another one of those maniac things that you can learn after you've had lots and lots of practice with the actual system.  Partial Edge Control is when you use specific F2L algorithms in order to preserve the last layer edge orientation.  The goal is to not have to do an OLL with 4 incorrectly oriented edges, because those OLL patterns generally take longer.  This is an advanced technique...and DDRKirby(ISQ) hasn't started to learn it yet.

- Refers to when instead of solving your cube so that all the colors match, you put the colors into some cool pattern, like a checkerboard pattern or a box pattern.  The "old method" is a good method for solving a cube into a pattern.  Sometimes instead of solving a cube piece by piece into a pattern, there'll be an easy algorithm that puts the cube into the pattern from the solved state, such as R2L2F2B2U2D2, which turns a solved cube into a checkerboard pattern, also known as the "Superflip" outside of the FHSURCS.

PLL - Permutation of Last Layer.  The last step in the Fridrich System.  In this step you rearrange all the pieces in the last layer while preserving their fixed orientations.  There are 21 possible PLL states, so that's 21 algorithms you need to learn if you want to do PLL in one step.  Usually PLL consists of a long algorithm with a lot os FSCs.  This is where you can personalize how you do your moves.  This is also the step where you go as fast as you possibly can because there's no need to look ahead (this is already the last step).

Pop - Refers to the event in which one or more of the pieces in your cube (usually a loose edge piece) pops out of your cube during a solve.  Happens more often the looser your cube is, and if it happens too frequently it could be a problem.  If your cube is too loose and ends up popping all the time, it probably means you've worn out the springs too much and should get a new one.  If you're timing yourself for an average of 10 solves, you get one redo solve if your cube pops, so use it well.

Rolling Average - Rolling averages are averages that start at any solve that you want.  So for example, if you did 24 solves and picked the middle 12 because they give a shorter average, this would be considered a rolling average.  Currently rolling averages are not allowed for time submissions in the FHSURCS, but a separate category may be added for rolling averages.

Rubik's Wrist - A cubing illness that is usually caused by cubing for an extensive period of time or cubing with a stiff cube.  Characterized by pain in the wrist when you try to turn your cube.  If this happens, it might be best to put your cube down for a while and take a break.  Either that, or you need to lubricate your cube. =)

Speedcubing - Refers to the sport in which one tries to solve Rubik's Cubes in the shortest amount of time possible.

The "New Method" - The method that DDRKirby(ISQ) currently uses to solve.  Is basically considered the same as the Fridrich System outside of the FHSURCS, but without all algs being memorized.  This is the method DDRKirby(ISQ) is currently spreading through the FHSURCS.

The "Old Method" - Denotes the method DDRKirby(ISQ) formerly used to solve.  Also referred to as the "swap point" method.  Delta Delta Bravo is currently a strong user of this method.  DDRKirby(ISQ)'s no longer teaching this method, as it doesn't transition as well to Fridrich as the "New Method" and also has white on the top for the first two layers.  Plus, orienting 2 corners at a time at the end can take forever...although sometimes this method -does- lead to fast times.  In addition, this method is a very good method for doing patterns with your cube.

The "Other Method" - Denotes the method that Keenster and a few others use.  I think it usually involves algorithms with a lot of D2' turns that are performed with a flick of the right index finger.  There's nothing wrong with it, except that it always has white cross on top.  Plus, it doesn't exactly transition to Fridrich perfectly.  It's still a viable method, though.

The "Passage" - This is the hallway ramp that's located in the second floor of the main building of FHS, right after you come up the stairs.  Ruled by the "Passage Masters".  We don't usually use this as a meeting spot, but we might use it as a reference point, as in "meet in the hallway next to 'the passage'."

XCross - Refers to the technique in which you look ahead while doing the cross so that you simultaneously solve the cross and the first F2L pair.  This is a very advanced technique that even DDRKirby(ISQ) has not started to learn.

This is a list of techniques that are employed to help improve your times.  Again, ones specific to the FHSURCS are in italics.

Cubing Under Pressure - Cubing while you're under pressure is harder than it seems at first.  To practice staying calm under pressure, try to get used to the feeling by cubing under pressure whenever you can.  This includes cubing in front of friends, cube racing, cubing while being video-taped, and cubing at any public event.  You wouldn't want to screw up an OLL algorithm or spend 5 seconds looking for the first F2L pair when it really counts, now would you? =)

Having a Memorized Solve
- The concept of a memorized solve is to memorize a scramble pattern (something that's easy to remember but messes up the cube throuroughly) and then memorize the solution to the scramble using your normal method.  Then you can use this solve pattern to see how nervous you are or how fast your fingers are going, because you should be able to go through the solve non-stop without having to stop and think.  Since none of your time is spent thinking, all of your time is spent trying to turn the cube, so this gives you an indication of how fast you're turning.

Naming Your Cubes
  - A concept originally introduced by Delta Delta Bravo (a.k.a. Darth Vader), this simply consists of giving your cube a name.  Often thought to help you "be one with your cube".  Now considered standard practice for all FHSURCS members.

Practicing Algorithms - When solving, OLL and PLL are both all about algorithms.  In order to have a fast LL, you need to be able to recognize the LL states quickly and then be able to perform the corresponding algorithm.  Usually it's best if you learn how to perform the algorithms through muscle memory.  However, there are 57 different OLL states and 21 different PLL states, so the likelihood of seeing one specific state is pretty small.  Therefore, the best way to practice applying the algorithms is not through conventional solving, but just by applying the algorithm over and over again.  Try to visualize the OLL or PLL state first before you start to perform the moves.

Using a Metronome - A metronome is one of those devices that clicks or beeps at a set tempo.  How does this help you speedcube?  Well, it's a very good training method for learning how to do fast F2L.  By using a metronome to take a certain period of time for each turn, it forces you to =slow down= and look ahead for the next move.  So starting at a slow tempo, like 60 BPM, try to do F2L in sync with the metronome, doing one turn per click.  If it's too fast you can slow down the tempo a bit.  You should aim to never stop during your F2L, always maintaining a consistent pace.  Then, gradually increase the tempo until you can do it at about 120 BPM, faster or slower depending on your skill level.  F2L is the longest step in the Fridrich System, and it's also the most important to practice.  If you can do F2L seamlessly, you'll almost always get fast times.  And as Macky always emphasizes, the key to F2L is to SLOW DOWN.  It might seem counter-intuitive to slow yourself down when you're trying to do the moves faster, but it does work.

-=Cube Care=-
This includes everything you want to know about taking care of your cube, from cleaning it to improving its performance.

Cube Dust - Refers to the dust that naturally accumulates in the inside of cubes.  Usually a little bit of cube dust is okay, as it can act as a sort of natural lubricant.  But when you actually lubricate your cube, be sure to clean out all the cube dust inside first. (dismantle your cube)

Lubrication - Refers to the application of lubricant on the inside of a cube in order to reduce friction and thus make the cube turn more quickly and easily.  This is a necessity if you plan to get serious about lets you do finger tricks and pushes that you might not be able to do with a stiff cube.  The recommended type of lubricant is any silicone-based spray lubricant.  Be sure to clean out all the cube dust from your cube before lubricating it.  The process for lubricating is pretty simple.  You pop out one of your edge pieces, spray some lubricant on the edge, and put it back in.  Then play with your cube for a while.  You should be able to feel the difference right away.  You can lubricant (like SNAP) from OSH or just ask DDRKirby(ISQ) to lube your cube for you. =)

Nail Polish - Putting clear nail polish on a cube is only done rarely, and is a tricky process to perform, as you have to make sure you polish the entire face of the sticker, including a bit of the black plastic, yet you have to be careful not to get any on the inside of the cube otherwise it might dry and create rough patches on the inside.  On the plus side, nail polishing your cube will keep the stickers on for sure, although you may have to reapply it every so often.  The only cube that has been nail polished in the FHSURCS is DDRKirby(ISQ)'s Cubie, but llama is looking into polishing Crispy, as well.  Nail polish might actually reduce the performance on your cube by a tiny amount, but it'll make it last 10 times longer.  Plus, it looks shiny. =p  Another side effect of putting nail polish on is that you won't get that "crispy" turn sound when you turn your cube.  It'll feel smoother and less jerky sometimes.  Whether to polish a cube or not is usually just a matter of personal preference.  Also, it's usually better if you polish your cube within the first few days of getting it.  That way you can prevent stickers from starting to peel in the first place.

Spring Stretching - If you find that the springs on your cube are way too tight and you don't want to pry off the center tiles to adjust them (or your center tile inlets don't have screws), you can insert credit cards or similar objects between the layers of cubies in order to stretch the springs.  Usually two cards per layer is enough (one on each side).  You can do the front and back layers at the same time, and then change to the left and right ones, and so on.  You'll probably have to keep the cards in there for an hour, at least.  Keep checking every half an hour or so until you reach the desired tightness.

Sticker Replacement - Hopefully your cube will never get to the point where its stickers need to be replaced, but over time, your stickers -will- wear out and will start to peel off (unless you have really good stickers...or a deluxe cube...or nail polish. =p).  In this case, you can either buy a new cube, or try to replace the stickers.  You can get a sticker replacement kit from the rubik's online store, together with some lubricant for your cube if you need it.  I've never actually had to do this, so I don't know much about the details, but it seems like it should be easy enough.  Just peel off the old stickers and stick the new ones on there.

Types of Cubes  - There are many different types of cubes out there, and most of the cubes in the FHSURCS have some differences as well.  Here I'll try and outline some characteristics that your cube may have:
-Your cube may have white plastic axles or black plastic axles in the inside mechanism.  Obviously the color itself doesn't affect anything, but it does sometimes give an indication of what brand of cube you have.  The white plastic ones tend to have springs that are more evenly tuned, but the black ones do just as well, if not better.
-The logo on the cube is probably on the white side.  If it is in color and says "Rubik's Cube Puzzle", you have a newer cube.  If you have a black and white design, you probably have an older model.  Either one should work fine.  If your cube doesn't have a logo, it's might be a 3rd party cube or something.  If the logo is on the red or blue side, you probably have a deluxe cube with tiles.  In which case...*drools*...
-The color configuration on the cube can be white opposite of yellow, or white opposite of blue.  This doesn't have a huge impact on anything, but you should try to stick to one color configuration to make things easier on yourself.
-There are also mini cubes, as well as one reported incidence of a "tiny cube".  These don't function as speedcubes.  They're pretty cool, though. =p
-There's a small possibility that your cube will be "shiny", like Intrigue is.  I haven't had much experience with these, but the axles are really thick and the springs are basically non-existant.  I'd look into buying another cube, although if you have to resort to one of these it does turn decently after being lubricated.
-The springs on the center pieces may be tuned evenly or unevenly.  They might be tight or loose.  Usually I don't mess with them, and I'd just recommend trying to break your cube in and wearing down the springs if you find that they're too stiff.
-The corner pieces are usually solid without any holes, but one black plastic face may have a big gaping hole, meaning you can stick your finger inside the piece.  This does make the cube lighter, but I think it might also make it catch onto other pieces a little more often.  I'm not sure.
-Your cube may or may not have that "click"-ish noise when you turn certain faces, caused by the spring inside the mechanism.  It doesn't make a difference.
-Your cube, after being lubricated, may have a "crispy" turning sound, like Crispy when it was first lubed, or it may just sound smoother, like Cubie.  It's a subtle difference.

This is a list of things you should =NEVER= say to a cuber, combined with some of my reactions to people who say them.  Got the idea from Macky's site. =p
Why should you never say these things?  Because cubers have heard them all WAAAY too many times.  Do them a favor and don't annoy them by making them hear these things again.
Some of these may seem harsh, but what'd you expect, after hearing them 1000 times?

Random Person: "I just peel the stickers off and put them back on."
Me: "Heh, yeah..."
My thoughts: (ARGH!!! grr...why would you EVER do that!?!?  The stickers come already come off too easily!!!)

Random Person: "I just take the pieces apart and put it back together again."
Me: "Yeah, that works."
My thoughts: (Well, at least they thought of taking it apart.  Maybe they even know the difference between corner and edge pieces now.)

Random Person: "I could never solve that thing."
Me: "heheh..."
My thoughts: (Not with that attitude...)

Random Person: "You're kidding."
Me: "eheheh..."
My thoughts: (No, I'm not.)

Random Person: "I can't even see his fingers!"
Me: "well..."
My thoughts: (You think this is fast, watch Macky do FRUR'U'F' or Lars Petrus do his Sune...)

Random Person: "He's not even looking at it!"
Me: "I am..."
My thoughts: (I can't Blindfold Cube yet...)

Random Person: "You're crazy."

Me: "Yeah, I am."
My thoughts: (I get that a lot...actually I don't mind this one as much =p)

Random Person: "*does one move and then does it back* Look, I did it!"
Me: "..."
My thoughts: (Okay, enough already, give it back...)

Random Person: "Let me see it."
Me: "I don't let people touch this one..."
My thoughts: (I'm the one who can solve it...)

Random Person: "*takes it from me when I'm done* Look, I did it!"
Me: "..."
My thoughts: (Okay, don't embarass yourself, just give it back...)

Random Person: "Is there some kind of pattern?"
Me: "It's a step by step method..."
My thoughts: (There are algorithms, if that's what you mean...)

Random Person: "Do you just do the same thing over and over again?"
Me: "No..."
My thoughts: (What good would that do?  Trying to cycle through the 9 gazillion possible states and trying to solve it that way is pointless.)

Random Person: "It would take me 5 years to solve that!"
Me: "heh..."
My thoughts: (It would take you less than an hour if you used a solution.)

Random Person: "You must be hella smart!"
Me: "Well..."
My thoughts: (Yeah, but what does speedcubing have to do with that?)

Random Person: "What's your fastest time?"
Me: "0.01 seconds if I'm lucky and 21.40 seconds if I'm unlucky."
My thoughts: (But those don't actually mean anything.  It's the average that counts.)

Random Person: "Look, he did it again!"
Me: "Um..."
My thoughts: (No, I was just repeating a single algorithm and got back to the solved state.)

Random Person: "No way!"
Me: "heh."
My thoughts: (Another skeptic.)

Random Person: "I might be able to solve that in like 30 minutes."
Me: "..."
My thoughts: (Actually, you probably can't.)

Random Person: "I can get one side!"
Me: "..."
My thoughts: (But getting one side doesn't do anything for you.  It's getitng the first =layer= that counts.)

Random Person: "I just get one face and that's all I can do."
Me: "..."
My thoughts: (You're thinking about it the wrong way...)

Random Person: "I can probably get two sides if I really tried..."
Me: "..."
My thoughts: (Yeah, but it wouldn't =do= anything for you.)

Random Person: "I'd just get mad at those things and throw them against the wall."

Me: "..."
My thoughts: (Meanie.)

Random Person: "Can I mix it up and then you'll do it for me!"
Me: "Okay. (unless it's Cubie)"
My thoughts: (Cool, someone wants to see it again.  I don't mind you saying this one, as long as it's not Cubie you're talking about...)

Random Person: "I used to have one of those..."

Me: "..."
My thoughts: (I think a lot of other people do, too.)

Random Person: "Can you actually do that?"
Me: "Yep."
My thoughts: (Well, you =could= have just noticed that I'm doing 5-move-per-second FSCs...but oh well.)

One of the objectives of the FHSURCS is to identify any other cubers who may be out there.  So whenever you see someone holding a cube, go ahead and approach them and find out if they're a speedcuber, or if they cube at all.  Be prepared to be disappointed, though, because a lot of the time people just bring cubes because they're bored and they have no clue how to work one.  To make things easier (and because I want to put even =more= interesting crap on here), I've made a list of characteristic traits of speedcubers.  Now these aren't always gonna be true, so just use them as general guidelines.

-You know someone IS a cuber if:

-You see them cube twirling or cube spinning.
-You see them do any sort of finger trick or FSC (if they ever use their thumb or index finger for a turn, there's a good chance they're a cuber)
-You can tell that their cube is lubricated.
-You can tell that their cube is nail polished.
-You can tell that their cube is a deluxe cube.
-Their cube's stickers are tattered from being overused.
-You see them complete a solve (duh).
-You see them working an LBL method (so if you see them do cross->first two layers, that's a good indication of a cuber)
-You see them using a watch or timer while cubing.
-You overhear terms like "F2L", "OLL", "PLL", "Fridrich", "Sune", "LBL", "COLL", "FSC", "algorithm", "Macky", "XCross", etc.
-You see them use proper cube dismantling technique (turn it about 45 degrees, pull down with the left thumb while inserting your right thumb to pull the edge out)

-You know someone is NOT a cuber if:
-You see them doing a "side" of a cube, but they haven't actually done the first layer.
-You see them peeling off the stickers of a cube (unless the stickers were previously mixed up, so they're forced to)
-You see them hesitate a lot before turning or you see them repeatedly turn one face, only to turn it back again.
-You hear them say anything under the annoyances section.

This is just everything that didn't really fit into another category, so I dumped it all here. =p

Cubefreak, Macky's cubing site
This is the site of Macky, official world record holder for the 3x3x3 Rubik's Cube.  His site is where I get basically all of my algorithms, and I also got a lot of ideas for this site after looking at his.  Check it out! timer
This is a great online timer that I always use when I want to time myself.  It even has a countdown feature that you can use to set a 15-second inspection time.

Past news

2/5/05 - Hi.

2/4/05 - Hi.

2/3/05 - Hi.

2/2/05 - Hi.

2/1/05 - Heading off to green in the color spectrum.
       - YES!!!  NEW FREAKING SINLGE BEST SOLVE!!!  -=20.10=- seconds!!!  W00000t!  soooooo close to it wasn't even lucky.  i was on fire during 3rd block today.

1/31/05 - We now have 500+ hits!  whoohoo!
        - need another alg of the week.  also need to time the previous alg of the week.  x_x.

1/30/05 - eheh.

1/29/05 - eh.

1/28/05 - heh.

1/27/05 - Yeeeekkk!  Missed like 3 updates....well ok i'll put a new alg of the week up, it's the least I can do.
        - NEW AVERAGE FOR ME!!!  Mwahahaha!!!  24.801 seconds!!!!!  YES!  Sub-25?  Check.

1/26/05 - didn't update.

1/25/05 - lack of an update.

1/24/05 - no update.

1/23/05 - AAAHHHHH!!!!  I'm sooooo behind on updating this.
        - WE'RE NOW ON GOOGLE!!!  YEAHHHHHH!!!!!!  Search for "FHSURCS" and this page'll =actually come up=!  I've been waiting for this...
        - I got a new cube.  I'm going to name it "Simple and Clean".  It's pretty good, actually....non-arched centers, tho.  It's really noisy...and more quick and jerky, whereas Cubie is more fluid and smooth.  interesting.
        - CRAP, I also need a new alg for this week.....god I'm so behind...

1/22/05 - m(_ _)m.

1/21/05 - Yeah, I haven't been updating that often.  Sorry, again.
        - Forgot to give GosuGirl her alg sheet...m(_ _)m
        - Maybe I should just list aaalllll the info for all members here, instead of having separate pages.  Hm.
        - I'm looking into making an official Rubik's Cube Club.  In that case, I might abandon this website and make a new one.  Don't worry, I'll still keep all the old stuff that's on here.

1/20/05 - Didn't update...busy with stuff...=p

1/19/05 - Continuing to try and learn BLD...I understand it competely now, it's just managing to do it that's proving really hard...
        - craaaaaap I need to do alg of the week.  *sigh*  Okay I'll do it quickly.
        - Reminder to self: remember to give Gosu Girl another alg sheet.

1/18/05 - Trying to learn blindfold solving...x_x

1/17/05 - Stuff.
        - Err...crap I need an alg for the week.  Soon, soon.
        - I'm on Macky's web site for getting visitor #33333!!!  w00t!  Now I'll see about that video request...=p

1/16/05 - Learning Katsu's PLL algs. =)
        - Got to blue in the Old News color spectrum.  The only choice now is...cyan...which might look kinda weird...oh well.

1/15/05 - I'm DEAD.  And I already my
oooookay, here we go.

First thing in the morning, get up and head to SF Exploratorium for the Rubik's Cube competition.  Did practice solves in the car. =p  Got there, registered, and tried out the Stackmat timers that you had to use.  Pretty neat.  I only did one practice solve with the timer...I got like 24 seconds, tho, lol.  So I was ready.

First round 3x3x3: Well, this round was weeeirddd...the first solve I did, I messed up on my inspection and ended up taking waaay too long for cross.  Then everything else was pretty blah, too.  End result was something around 35 seconds.  ugh.
The next solve was um...well I don't really know how fast it was....because I didn't wait for the timer light to turn a result, the timer never even started...oh well, I finished my just said "uh...just do your third solve and well see what to do from there."
Soooo......I did my third solve.  The first part was mediocre, I guess.....but I got a PLL-skip.  25 seconds.  I was just like "YESS!!!"  I mean, 25 seconds isn't really =that= fast for me, but it was a pleasant surprise to finish OLL and then already be done.  sweet.
And then it turned out that the 25-second time qualified me for 2nd round already, so I didn't need to do a third solve.
Then, while waiting for the second round (the first round ended at like 12:30, and the second round wasn't until like 3:00), I did a bunch of things...talking and cubing with other speedcubers, wandering around the Exploratorium, eating, watching people compete in other events, etc.

Second round 3x3x3: Well this round just PWNED.  None of my solves were lucky, yet they were all still sub-30.  Here they are:
23.58 sec, 28.49 sec, 25.52 sec, 28.90 sec, 24.09 sec
=awesome=.  (there's 5 because the second and final rounds were best average of 5, unlike the first round which was best single out of 3)  That pretty much rocked. still wasn't enough to get me into finals (uh...yeah, everyone in finals was like sub-23)...oh well.  It doesn't matter.  I still owned.

All in all, a very cool experience, even though it was a little draining.  Plus, I got some pictures! (pic of me standing next to Macky, the world champ, mwahahaha)  And seeing Macky, Tyson, Jessica, and Lars was pretty awesome as well. (hmm...maybe I should have gotten autographs?  Oh well, whatever)  And maaaybe, I'll get some videos too! (there =were= cameras like everywhere.  Or maybe my parents took a video *shrug*)  Plus, this news reporter came up and asked me and my dad some questions.  I was kinda just like..."i'm not worthy......" i mean, come on, it's not like I'm the expert. *cough*MACKY*cough*12.11 seconds*cough*

Plus, I felt special because I was the only one with a nail polished cube (not to mention the only one who actually keeps track of his solves, lol).  And Macky solved my cube!  Oh, and he broke the world record for blindfold solving at like 2 mins 57 seconds. O_o was fun owning other people who were still doing like 1 minute-1.5 minute solves.  heehee, once, I won even though I gave them like a 30-second head start.  Then I solved two cubes before they could solve one.  .....and then I solved 3 cubes one after another, timing myself for the entire thing.  Took about 36 seconds per cube.  Slower than usual. *shrug*

the only real bad thing.......I'm a really predominantly right-handed right index finger feels like it's gonna fall off.....X_X......

oh well.

Pics, videos, stuff.  LATER.

1/14/05 - Visited Cubefreak in the morning...turns out I was visitor #033333!!!  w00t!  Posted a screenshot up on the chatterbox there.  Maybe I'll get something.  lol =p
        - OMG!!!  The competition's tomorrow!!!! ahhhh
        - Updated my page with a new average (non-rolling): 26.861 seconds.  Awesome.

1/13/05 - Hmm...didn't update today...again...=p

1/12/05 - Updated some...stuff...

1/11/05 - Oops.  Missed my update today.

1/10/05 - Exploring Katsu's site...some sweet vids and algs on there, even though the site is in japanese...O_o

1/9/05 - Continuing to change up my F2L style...I hope this isn't making my times any worse.
       - ARGH!!!  When will people learn to keep their hands off Cubie!?!? T_T

1/8/05 - It's early in the morning...i'm a little sick...
       - Um...oh yeah, competition on the 15th @ the exploratorium, if you didn't already know.  I'll be there...I'm aiming for at least one sub-25 solve sometime during the tourney.  If I can get all my solves sub-30 that'd be awesome.

1/7/05 - We now have 400+ hits!  Amazing...I didn't even update for 3 days, yet we still got more than 10 hits in that period...O_o (I didn't get the screenshot for #400 tho...hit 400 wasn't me...)
       - I did hella cubing today during 4th block...i think i must have done about 100 solves or finger hurts...
       - Progess of members: GosuGirl is......CRAZY!  I mean...OMG...she does has potential, I'll tell you she just needs to learn 7 OLL algs and a good chunk of the 21 PLL algs and she'll probably already be sub 1 minute...

1/6/05 - ditto.

- Um....nothing.

- Amazing.  Now the counter is at 395, whereas yesterday it was at 392.  Meaning that besides this hit (me), this got visited 2 other times.  Awesome.
       - Only did one solve today.  Mainly because I wasn't at school today.  heheh.

1/3/05 - Does anyone even read this?  Hmm...maybe i should watch the hit counter to find out.  Right now it's at 392.

1/2/05 - My solves per day average is gonna start climbing up.  I think I did about 100 solves so far today and yesterday, plus I'll probably do some more today.
       - I need an alg of the week...*sigh*, alright, alright, I'll give u one.  Whoever reads this, anyways...*later*...oh wait, I gave you 2.  ha.  =)
       - Well, also, now the alg of the week section includes the week number.  This is the start of week #8.
       - Got a new (official) average today (non-rolling): 27.326 seconds.  I think I can do better...One of the solves was a 48.94 second messup, and 4 other ones were over 30 seconds. x_x
       - Also, I'm now taking =Requests for videos=.  If you ask me, I'll make a vid of any alg, done slowly and then faster.  =)

1/1/05 - Got to purple in the old news color spectrum.  Next I'll go
       - Happy New Year everyone!  And happy 2005th solve on Cubie to myself! =D
       - Now excuse me while I start the new year off by doing a couple hundred solves.

12/31/04 - Last night I raced Chris Hunt by using JNetCube (an offline/online cubing timer)...the results?  Well most of the time I was about 6 seconds behind, but I managed to win 4 times!!! (....out of 40 attempts....but that's still 10%!) Plus, my rolling averages were going around 27 seconds, and I was getting consistent sub-30s!
         - Today I prepare for the 2005th solve on Cubie at midnight. =)
         - I wanna go to this: it's on January 15th at the exploratorium...I should be able to do consistently sub-30 then, plus it's internationally ranked, and I'll get to meet Macky and people!

- O_o Tyson Mao posted on my, okay correction: it's "Shotaro" Makisumi, not "Shotaru"...and he just lives in Southern California, not the South Bay.  x_x

12/29/04 - CRAP!  I didn't update the last two days...Well, I finally updated now...kinda. =p
         - aw, CRAP!!!!! I totally forgot about alg of the week!  well I'll do a little half-assed one. =p sorry.

12/28/04 - CRAP!  I didn't update today either...

- CRAP!  I didn't update today...

- is Sunday, but I don't have an algorithm for this week...oh well, later.
         - ...because now that I have my new webcam (from my cousins!  Thanks!), you'll see lots of goodies popping up here and there. =)
         - Like...images!  Finally!  Plus I added the little disclaimer up at the top. =p
         - And...a videos section!!!  Yep, 3 solving videos, complete with techno music, because as you know, anything looks cooler with techno.

- Break is still on...=)

- Two things today.
         - One: got a new fastest single solve: 20.66 seconds!  It was a lucky case, I got to skip one of the F2L pairs, plus the rest of F2L was pretty easy, and then I got a really fast OLL and a really fast PLL.  Nice.  I consider this a Christmas gift. =)
         - Two: If all goes well I'll do my 2000th solve at midnight!  Yay!!!

- Two solves done today.  One by accident.  Which makes 1997 solves.  Tomorrow is Christmas Eve...which means sometime tomorrow I need to do 2 solves, and then do the 3rd one of the stroke of midnight.  =)

- Practicing the heck out of Cross->F2L...

- No updates whatsoever today.  m(_ _)m

- Updated the Algorithm of the Week finally. =p

- Actually added some content to the Observations section. =p
         - Today I did 3 solves on of them was on purpose because someone was video-taping me (I'm looking into getting that vid...even though the solve was mediocre, heh)...but the other two were =on accident=...because I was doing "almost-solves" all day today, but those 2 happened to be PLL-skips, so right after I did OLL it was already solved. x_x  This means I can only do 4 more solves this week...I can do it!
         - Added a couple terms and more info.
         - We now have 300+ hits! w00t!
         - Fixed some inaccurate info.
         - Haven't decided on an algorithm of the week for this week...maybe tomorrow. m(_ _)m

- Today I watched myself perform some cubing algs in the mirror, and wow...I look a lot faster than I realized.  I wanna capture some solving videos to put up here...can anyone help by providing a webcam or something?
         - Named the Idiot's Cube I got...the name is "Cube^(-1)".  Yeah, I know it's lame, but not as lame as llama. >=) (I'm convinced he won't be able to think of a better codename and will therefore eternally be known as llama.  mwahaha...)
         - I finished learning algorithms for =ALL= 21 PLL states and =ALL= 57 OLL states...therefore I'm now at proficiency level 12 on the New Method chart.  w0000t!!!
         - Added a few more Annoyances.  Also added a new section: Observations. =)

- Saw a little kid with a cube today, and saw some people with a cube yesterday.  But no cubers were among them.  How disappointing...
         - Winter break means lots of things are happening.  GosuGirl and alm1x3dup are breaking in their cubes, and BladeRunner is -getting- his cube.  And I'm still following the plan of doing the 2000th solve on Christmas and the 2005th solve on the New Year.
         - Johnny Erdman, unofficial supporter of the FHSURCS, gave me an "Idiot's Cube" for Christmas (an idiot's cube is one of the ones with all the stickers colored silver).  Thanks! ^_^  I'll add it to my collection.  Expect it to go up on my page soon, too.
         - Now we have the full red->yellow->white spectrum for the old news section.  Maybe next I'll add on so it's red->yellow->white->magenta->blue->cyan->white. =p

- Okay, I forgot to update today.  Sooorryy...=p

- GosuGirl's new cube is proving difficult to lubricate, to say the least.  I thought my first attempt at lubrication failed, so I washed it all off.  Then the second attempt was okay, I guess.  Except it was all jerky.  Now I know the problem is with the springs...they're waaaaayyy too stiff!  The solution is a new technique I just learned..."spring stretching", by inserting credit cards in between the layers to stretch out the spring.  We'll see how it turns out.  Hmm...I'm becoming an expert on cube care...
         - Meeting tomorrow in Rm. 96.
         - llama found yet another potential member.  Hmm...

- GosuGirl's new cube just got an injury...after being dropped.  Nothing -too- serious...the center tile piece fell off.  But it doesn't just stay back on if you try, so she's gonna have to superglue it back on...we'll see what happens.
         - The plan is for me to do my 2000th solve right on Christmas, and my 2005th solve right on the new year (2005).  This is soooo gonna own.  But then again, it's gonna be hella hard to resist completing any solves the next couple weeks.
         - GosuGirl advanced to step 4 of the New Method.  She was taught by llama...which means...I'm worried....xD! (llama is gonna kill me)  Well, it's okay, I guess, because steps 2-3 get replaced by F2L later anyways.
         - Meeting declared this Thursday, on the 16th.  See you there.

- MWAHAHAHAHA!!!  NEW AVERAGE!!!  29.454 SECONDS!!! NON-ROLLING!!! DONE IN 3RD BLOCK!  w000000000t!!!! =p
         - alm1x3dup got another cube: "Mundane".
         - GosuGirl got a cube...but she hasn't gotten a name for it yet.
         - Printed out an algorithm sheet for llama so now he can continute learning the new method.
         - Updated the Algorithm of the week.

- Wow, it's late.  I don't have much time to update today, but that's okay...nothing really happened today.  I cubed a lot, but my averages turned out to be around 31-32 seconds.  More tomorrow. =)

- Only a few solves today.  This weekend sucks because I don't have any time at all.  And I need to get working if I want to break sub-30 soon.

- Not much happened cubing-wise today.  I forgot to bring my watch to school, so I just practiced during class.  Got quite a few solves in, actually.
         - Relubed Cubie this morning.  Also put a little more nail polish on some stickers.  I think I'm ready to go for sub-30 now. =)

- ExtremeMotoDownhillChessRally has started learning the new method.  He's currently on step 5...=)
        - Took alm1x3dup's cube home to lubricate.  I've got to say, it's the weeeirdest cube I've ever come across...hollow corner pieces...lack of springs...thick axles...O_o...
        - Met another potential member during the training session today.  She can already solve, albeit slowly, but she still needs a codename before I can put her up on the list.
        - Got a new fastest single solve time today...=21.40= seconds!  It was a lucky case...a PLL-skip...but still, 20 seconds for F2L+OLL is pretty damn good. =)
        - Only about 8 more OLL algorithms to go until I have all of them learned!  w00000t! =p
        - Word is spreading about the FHSURCS.  Just today I was notified that outside sources have learned about us. =)  heheheh...cubers unite!
        - ...except this page still isn't in the google index, even though I submitted it a while ago.  x_x
        - Well, I lubricated alm1x3dup's cube.  Oh, and btw, she gave it a name now, "Intrigue".  True to its name, it  It's actually really, really fast and light...even though the springs are basically non-existent.  The only problem is that the pieces get caught on each other a little too often.  The only solution, short of actually sanding the edges of the pieces, is simply to break the cube least, I think so. =p
        - The FHSURCS site now has a .tk domain!  So now you can tell all your friends to go visit the easy-to-remember address, =)
        - Finally decided on something to do with the rest of all the past news sections.  So now it's gonna be red->yellow->white.
        - Updated the annoyances section and added some more info.

- =Yet another= new record for me!  This time it's an amazing non-rolling average of 30.471 seconds...which is really good because it even beat my current best rolling average! =D  I think I'll have a sub-30 second average by the start of christmas break. =)
        - There'll be a training session tomorrow in Rm. 96 during lunch. (Mr. Steffen's room)
        - ExtremeMotoDownhillChessRally is planning on getting his own cube for Christmas.  In fact, he already has a name for it: "Humphrey".
        - Also, I learned that alm1x3dup's cube is an "imitation cube".  It still functions properly, but apparently it's shiny...and one of the colors is =pink=. O_o...
        - If anyone finds a cube that costs about 5 dollars, buy it and give it to me and I'll pay you back...and then in turn I'll be paid back by a sponsor. =p (this is a one time offer, not a running thing, lol)

- Another new record for me!  This time with a regular average of 31.898 seconds!  yay!!! =D
        - ...send in your times, people! =p

- New times for myself: a new best rolling average of 30.976 seconds, and a new best non-rolling average of 32.753 seconds! =D

- It's Sunday!  Updated the Algorithm of the Week.

12/4/04 - We now have 200 hits!  Yay!

- Crazy solving for me today.  I now have a rolling average record of 31.168 seconds!
        - Along those lines, added rolling average records to the pages.

- Got my fastest time for the Sune down to 1.12 seconds. =D
        - Got my fastest time for the other OLL alg (2nd alg of the week) down to 0.82 seconds. =D
        - Got a new watch, with a countdown timer and chronograph, that enabled me to cube like crazy today and get a new best average of 33.410 seconds!
        - Got my fastest time for this week's PLL alg down to 2.59 seconds. =D
        - Um...random update: today in the Past News section we finally have the entire spectrum of HTML colors from yellow to red! (going from ff to 00 in increments of 11)  Now I gotta figure out what to do when we have even more...

12/1/04 - Hey guys...I'm dead...x_x...

11/30/04 - Okay, so there won't be a meeting this week because of the CML math contest on thursday during lunch.  However, if you want training, I'll be in the library tutoring every day after school this week, so come if you're interested.
         - Added my time for today's algorithm of the week.  Come on people, submit times!, no one even understands the notation probably...but I can still show you how to do the algorithm, and then it's simple to time yourself.

- Whoa...I've got some catching up to do.  Commence the updates!!! =p
         - Updated the Algorithm of the Week.

11/28/04 - Updated stuff, but didn't add anything.  I'm lazy today.

11/27/04 - Updated my page.
         - Improved my time for this week's algorithm by 0.04 seconds, so now it's 0.86 seconds. =D
         - Improved my time for last week's algorithm by 0.04 seconds, so now it's 1.15 seconds. =D
         - Added some terms and annoyances.
         - Added some more info about the methods.

11/26/04 - Added some info.
         - Updated a new best average of 10 for myself that I forgot to add.  34.225 seconds on November 23. =D
         - Added a link to the beginnings of my member page.  It still sucks right now, tho...=p

11/25/04 - Fixed a typo...the news for 11/23 was labeled 11/22. m(_ _)m
         - Improved my time for performing a Sune by 0.01 seconds. (1.19 seconds now) xD
         - Added a checklist for the "old method".
         - Added a link to the timer at under the new Miscellaneous section...which I also just added. =p

- Didn't get to update today...but I did do about 60 solves on Cubie. =p

- Had the first meeting of the FHSURCS.  Went allright, I guess, mostly just training for a few members.  Keenster is gonna try to learn the "new method" basic LL techniques, and GosuGirl is trying to get down the second layer.  I think we'll change the meeting day to Thursday to avoid conflicts in the future.
         - Today was also a time when I decided to bring all 7 of my cubes to school: "Cubie", "Crappy", "The Stiff One", "The Loose One", "Square One", "Mini 1", and "Mini 2". =p
         - New unofficial fastest single solve time for me (DDRKirby(ISQ)): 23 seconds.  It won't go up in the chart because it was timed using a wall clock, but it's still a sign that I'm improving.  I think I'll time myself soon, now that I've relubed Cubie.  I should get around 33 seconds as an average of 10, hopefully. =D
         - I'm thinking of adding a checklist for learning the "new method", so you can keep track of your progress.
         - Done with the checklist.  Also added a thing where you can see each member's progress.
         - Unofficial times and proficiency levels have been added to the members chart.
         - Did an average of 10.  Ended up breaking my record by getting a 35.016 second average, and also broke my official fastest single solve time by getting a solve in 24.89 seconds.  sweeeeet. =)
         - Did another average of 10.  Didn't break my single solve record, but I got an average of 34.225 seconds for 10 solves.  ownage.
         - Added a fastest time section to the Algorithm of the Week.  Feel free to submit your own times. =)

- Tomorrow is the first official meeting of the FHSURCS.  We'll have about 5 members there, I think.
         - Cubie's also getting cleaned and relubed today, or maybe even tomorrow morning, so that it's in top condition for its 1000th solve. =D
         - We now have 100 hits.  I'm saving screenshots of all these numbers, btw.  Sometime I'll upload them and display them somewhere or something.
         - The next step for the site is probably to start adding the member pages.  I'll start with mine. =p  Some pics would be nice, too...m(_ _)m
         - One more thing: If anyone's having trouble convincing people that the "new method" is better than the "other method" (*cough*llama*cough*), tell them my times.  I doubt that the "other method" can give you a 38 second average for 10 solves.  Plus, the "other method" has white cross on top!  -Why- would you look at the top layer when you're solving the bottom layer?  It doesn't make sense! >:|

11/21/04 - Okay, I'm calling an official meeting of all FHSURCS members.  Expect 5-6 people to be there.  If you're available at lunch on Tuesday, November 23rd, come to the second floor of the main building, in the hallway next to "the passage".  I'll be performing my 1000th solve on Cubie then, plus if anyone wants any training I can do that as well.  It'll probably be a short meeting for everyone unless you stay behind to get extra help.
         - Yesterday I finished teaching llama the "new method" (just the bare bones new method, with minimal algs).  He's still not very proficient at it, and he has a lot of trouble memorizing algs...=_=...but on the plus side he does seem to be able to do the first 2 layers with relative ease.
         - If anyone's willing to buy stuff from eBay, I'll pay you back if you can get your hands on this cube.  It's tiled, meaning that you don't ever have to worry about stickers...*drools*...

         - I still haven't been able to contact the other two users of "the other method" besides Keenster.  If anyone sees them, be sure to tell them about the meeting on Tuesday.

- Marching Band Championships at Modesto means I'm gonna out from 8:45 AM 'till 2:00 AM.  yeah.  No time for an update, sorry.  Plus tomorrow I gotta get up early to volunteer at a hospital. x_x...and then there's homework...

11/19/04 - Added some more terms.
         - Found a web page with the details on how to perform a Sune correctly.  Expect me to be performing it nonstop for the next few days. =p  I'm adding the info to the algorithm of the week section.  Also added the past featured algorithms section, but there isn't gonna be anything there until next week (in 2 days, i think).  I added which week the algorithm of the week was on, too.
         - Added member requirements.
         - Took Kat's cube (Enigma) home.  I'm gonna try and get it lubricated and give it back tomorrow.  Also expecting to have a training session with llama tomorrow.
         - Weird fact: Enigma has a number on one of it's corner pieces: M0903B.  Weird.  I haven't seen any other cube with a number on it. O_o...
         - Okay, finished cleaning and lubricating Enigma.  There was a drop of lubricant left on the tip of the spray straw, so I put it in Cubie. =p
         - Got a codename for another member: GosuGirl.  Her cube is the one arriving on the 24th.
         - Found out the name of Keenster's cube: "George".
         - No time for an update tomorrow (see above). x_x

11/18/04 - Saw a few members of the FHSURCS today.  Still waiting on codenames from some members...
         - Something else came to my attention today.  Apparently there's 3 different methods that have been going around: my "Old Method", my "New Method", and "the other one".  Apparently some of the new recruits have been trying to learn "the other one".  While I don't have any problems with experienced members sticking to "the other one", I'd prefer if all of the new members learn the basics of the "New Method" to better prepare them for advancement, as I've seen "the other one" being performed, and while it's okay as a general solving method, it'll be harder for people to transition from it to Fridrich, which should be your eventual goal.  Plus, "the other one" puts the white cross on top, even while doing the last layer.
         - So in short, people who know "the other one", you can still help newbies with the first 2 layers, but don't try and teach em your LL method.  Thanks. =)
         - Reports on progress: Delta Delta Bravo's ready to proceed to doing LL with the New Method.  I'll try and teach him the algs soon.  llama's at that point as well, although I don't know if he's that proficient at doing the first 2 layers.  We also have another new member, but we can't admit them just yet because they need a cube (they need to think of a codename, too).  I'm planning to receive one next Wednesday on the 24th, hopefully that'll work.
         - Also, we got a codename for another member: ExtremeMotoDownhillChessRally (a.k.a. Bladerunner).  However, he doesn't have a cube, which means we need one more cube in addition to the one I'm getting on the 24th. m(_ _)m
         - Got reminded of Delta Delta Bravo's fastest solve time (1 minute flat) and put it up.
         - I'm making it an official policy that all official FHSURCS members can touch Cubie, my sacred cube.  So far Kat, Keenster, and alm1x3dup have solved it, and some of the other members have touched it as well.
         - On the subject of Cubie, it's almost up to 1000 solves (938 as of this writing).  I think the 1000th solve should be at an official FHSURCS meeting.  Maybe on Tuesday, the 23rd...
         - 50 hits now!  w00t!  ...except most of those were just me checking and rechecking the site and reuploading this page. xp

11/17/04 - Just made this page.  Not a lot of crap on here yet...
           Still trying to recruit the members I've pre-selected...also, found a new potential member.
           So far we've got me (DDRKirby(ISQ)), Delta Delta Bravo, and Keenster who are officially in.
           llama will be coming shortly too, I think.
           And Kat and alm1x3dup have codenames, but they haven't been officially informed of the FHSURCS yet.
           Hmm...pretty long Alg of the week section.  Enjoy it.

11/16/04 - (hmm...i hadn't even made this page yet, lol) Had the first convention of the FHSURCS today.  It was basically only a training session though.  I still haven't gotten word out to the others.  Only me (DDRKirby(ISQ)) and Delta Delta Bravo were there.  I just spent some time teaching him the first half of the new method.  He's learning pretty quickly, I gotta say...

Past featured algorithms

#10 (Week of 1/16/05 - 1/22/05)

PLL - UR'U'-RU'R-URU'R'UR-UR2-U'-R'U I started using Katsu's notation...underlining to indicate left index finger pulls.  Okay, well since no one reads this anyways (and because if you do, this should be enough), and because I have a lot of work to get done, I'm gonna leave it at this.

Fastest Times:
DDRKirby(ISQ) - 3.16 seconds

#9 (Week of 1/9/05 - 1/15/05)


Guess what?  This does EXACTLY the same thing as the alg for week #3!!!  So why the heck do I have this new one?  Simple.  It's =FASTER=.  Better FSCs, less repositioning, it's just a better alg altogether.  And I have master Katsu to thank for it. =p

So this one's actually pretty straightforward...RUR'U' is self explanatory, and then R'F is done with right hand, then right index.  From there, just go right to the R2, then U' with left index, then R' with right hand, then another U' with index.  While you're doing that last U', reposition your right hand for RUR', then F' with right thumb.  Niiice.

Final result for changing to this alg?  2.59 seconds -> 2.23 seconds.  That might not seem like much, but keep in mind that that 2.59 seconds I got for Alg #3 took A LOT of tries.  Plus, this alg doesn't really have any tricky spots where you might get stuck, save for maybe the last F'.

Fastest Times:
DDRKirby(ISQ) - 2.23 seconds

#8 (Week of 1/2/05 - 1/8/05)

a) OLL - F-(RUR'U')x3-F'


Well what's this?  TWO algs for this week?  Yep, that's right.  Why?  Well, they both do the same thing.  Then why do I use both?  Well, actually, I couldn't decide which of these is faster.  Usually, I'd have to just pick one, =but= since for each of these you have to start with a different cube orientation, you can simply use either one, depending on which way your cube happens to be facing.  They're both pretty cool algs, anyways.

-=PLUS=- I discovered the first one by myself!!!  Yep, that's right, for once I used my own alg instead of looking at say...someone else's algs. (*cough*MACKY*cough*).  Although, a lot of other people have probably figured this alg out too, I mean, it's just FRUR'U'F' (the fastest OLL) three times.  But gotta give me some credit. =p

Aaaanyways, what these two are used for is if the orientation of the edges are already correct, and all you need to do is fix the orientation of all four corners.  You use either of these two if all the corners are incorrectly oriented and the yellows on the corners are facing opposite sides.

You'd use alg a if the corners are all facing front and back, and alg b if the corners are all facing left and right.  I'm not really going to bother telling you how it looks in detail because you can just do alg a to a solved cube in order to see how it should look if you're going to apply alg a.  If you wanna see what it should look like if you're gonna apply alg b, just apply a and do a U turn.  Simple.

How to do these:
Well, actually, if you've looked at the other algs of the weeks, you should already know how to do these.  Alg a is done basically the same way as the alg for week #2, only with the main part repeated.  Alg b is done the same way as the alg for week #1 (the Sune), only with an extra U'R'UR in there, which is easily done with left index, right hand, right index, and right hand.  Simple.  Now do it faster.

Fastest Times:
a) DDRKirby(ISQ) - 1.71 seconds
b) DDRKirby(ISQ) - 1.82 seconds

#7 (Week of 12/26/04 - 1/1/05)


Yeah, this is like one of the most basic repetitive FSC moves there is.  It doesn't DO anything, but it's good practice for that right index finger pull trigger.  Plus, it's fun to do.  It doesn't look all that impressive though...heheh, for that I've got other showoff algs. =p

Basically, this requires a lubed cube if you want to do it fast.  But then again, all FSCs are like that.  m(_ _)m...

Well anyways, I managed to do the sequence in under a second.  Mwahaha!!!

Fastest Times:
DDRKirby(ISQ) - 0.95 seconds

#6 (Week of 12/19/04 - 12/25/04)


What it does: If you have the last layer pieces arranged like this:
1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9
Then it switches corners 1 and 3 and edges 4 and 6.  Or you could just apply the algorithm to a solved cube to see what it should look like.

This one is pretty fun to do, but kind of hard to explain because of the whole cube turns I do.  First, start of doing the R' with your right hand, then the U is with right index finger.  From there, just turn back your right hand for R, and use your left index finger for U'.  While you're doing the U', reposition your right hand for the R2.

Next, the F'U'FU is done by turning the cube so that the R face is now the F face (this is a y' turn).  Then it becomes L'U'LU, which is a simple 4-move FSC, with the left hand doing L' and L, the left index finger doing U', and the right index finger doing U.

Then you turn the cube yet turn it so that the RFR'F'R2U' that you would have originally done with the very first cube orientation becomes RUR'U'R2B'.  The RUR'U' part is again, easy, with a right hand turn, then right index finger, then right hand back, then left index finger.  The R2B' part is a little trickier.  Actually, you can turn the rest of cube with your left hand while your doing that so it becomes more like R2U'.  You want to do the R2 with your whole right hand and then be in position to do the B' with your right thumb.  Be sure you don't try to push with your thumb too early, otherwise you'll get a regular RU'R instead.  You should finish with your right hand completely off the cube and your left hand holding the bottom face with the thumb and the center of the top face with your middle finger.  Fun!

Fastest Times:
DDRKirby(ISQ) - 3.12 seconds

#5 (Week of 12/12/04 - 12/18/04)

OLL - R-Dw-L'-D'w-R'URBR'

What it does: If you have the last layer pieces arranged like this:
1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9
Then it flips edges 4 and 2 while rotating corner 1 clockwise and corner 7 counter-clockwise.  It's easy to see if you just repeat the algorithm on an already solved cube 11 times. =p

The beginning of this algorithm is easy to remember, but kind of slow to perform.  The easy way is to do the R, Dw, and D'w are with the right hand, and the L' with the left.  However, I'm also considering treating the Dw as a U, plus a whole cube turn.  So in essence, you could do the Dw with your right index finger and the D'w with your left index finger.  I'll experiment and tell you guys the results.

The last 5 moves, R'URBR', is a nifty little FSC, where the R', R, and R' are done with the right hand, while the U and B are done with your right index finger.  Neato.

Results of experimentation: The index finger thing just causes more trouble with repositioning your hand.  So just stick to the easy way.  Besides, it's better to take it slow for the first half of this alg, then speed up at the 5 move FSC. =)

Fastest Times:
DDRKirby(ISQ) - 1.93 seconds

#4 (Week of 12/5/04 - 12/11/04)


What it does: If you have the last layer pieces arranged like this:
1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9
Then it flips edges 2 and 8.  It's one of the easiest patterns to recognize, and it's one of the faster algorithms, too.

This alg starts out simply enough, with a simple RUR'U', with the U being done with the right index finger and the U' being done with the left index finger.
As you're doing the U', position your right hand so that your thumb is on the F face.  Then do the Rw double layer turn, immediately followed by the R'.
Then your right hand should already be in place to do the U with your right index finger.  The next R is done simply by the right hand, and the U' following it is done by the left index finger.  Then just use your right hand to do the last Rw' double layer turn.

You should be able to do this one pretty quickly, as long as you don't get stuck.  It also feels really good when you can do it right. =)

Fastest Times:
DDRKirby(ISQ) - 1.61 seconds

#3 (Week of 11/28/04 - 12/4/04)


What it does: If you have the last layer pieces arranged like this:
1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9
Then it switches corners 3 and 9 and switches edges 4 and 6.  It's a relatively easy PLL state to identify, and the algorithm itself is pretty fun, too.

So for the initial F, use your right index finger to push (keeping your left thumb on the F face, but not pressing hard with it).
Then R is with the right hand, with a U' from the left index finger immediately following that.
While you're doing the U', reposition your right hand for the next move.  It's an R', followed by a U push by the right index finger.
Reposition your right hand again for the RUR2'.  Treat it as you would a normal RUR' trigger, using your right index finger for the U, only with the R' at the end changed into an R2'.
Reposition your right hand again and use your thumb to push the F'.  Then use your right hand to do the R, then use your right index finger to push for the U.  Continue turning with your right hand for the second R, then push with your left index finger for the U' before finally bringing your right hand down for the R'.

The last RURU'R' part is the trickiest to pull off, but it's sweet when you manage to do it.  One thing to keep in mind is that your fingers may naturally try to do RUR' for the first part instead of going RUR.  Actually, it's okay if you end up doing about 1/10th of an R', because it may actually speed up the U before it, but be careful otherwise you'll mess up and end up doing something like RUR'U'R instead of RURU'R'. O_o...

Fastest Times:
DDRKirby(ISQ) - 2.59 seconds

#2 (Week of 11/21/04 - 11/27/04)


Allright, I promised last week to show you Macky's other OLL algorithm that he can perform faster than a Sune, and this is it.  It's one hella fast algorithm to perform if you use the finger tricks.  Furthermore, it's very useful, because if you don't know all 57 OLL algorithms, you're probably gonna have to break OLL into 2 parts: orienting the edges and then orienting the corners.  Even DDRKirby(ISQ) currently uses this algorithm for that purpose most of the time.  It's one of the two orienting edges algorithms that are included in the bare bones version of the "new method" (the other one being either Fw-RUR'U'-Fw' or FURU'R'F' depending on how you learned it).  It's used if you have a sideways "T" shape, so if you have the pieces labeled 1-9 like this:
1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9
Then it flips edges 2 and 8 and turns corner 1 counter-clockwise while turning corner 7 clockwise.  So you use it if you have pieces 3,4,5,6, and 9 correctly oriented, with edges 2 and 8 having the (yellow) faces to the back and the front, and with corners 1 and 7 having the (yellow) faces to the left. (I have yellow in parentheses because you might not use cross on white or you might not have a white-yellow color configuration)

So here's how to achieve that blindingly fast speed that allows you to perform this in less than 1 second.

For the initial F turn, use your right index finger to push the top piece down.  Your left thumb should still be on the F side, but you shouldn't be applying any pressure to it so that it can turn.

Then the RUR'U' is a right hand turn followed by a right index push, then the right hand turns back, and the left index finger pushes for the U'.

While your left hand is doing the U', position your right hand for the final F'.  You should do it using your right thumb to push back up.  Again, your left hand should still be on the F face, but you shouldn't be applying pressure on it.

If you do this right, you can perform the entire algorithm pretty damn quickly with a well-lubricated cube.  It's a pretty simple, yet fast and useful algorithm to perform.  Enjoy. =)

(Usually the trickiest part of the alg to do is transitioning from the U' to the final F' with the thumb.  Be careful not to get stuck there, and remember what Macky always says: take it easy on OLL and don't risk getting stuck.  Save your really fast fingerwork for PLL.)

Fastest Times:
DDRKirby(ISQ) - 0.82 seconds

#1 (Week of 11/14/04 - 11/20/04)

OLL - (RUR')-(UR)-(U2R')

Also referred to as the "Sune", performed using the right hand only.

RUR' is a simple right hand turn, then right index finger trigger, then right hand back.

Next you reposition your right hand for UR, which is a right index finger push, then right hand turn.

The U2R' is kind of tricky to get.  You can either play it safe (recommended with a stiff cube) and do it with your entire right hand, then reposition for the R', or you can reach waaay back around the right side of your cube and pull the U2 with your right index finger, which then leads directly into the R'.  You can also experiment with the placement of the rest of your hand when you do the U2 with right index.  I'm not sure exactly how it's supposed to be done...I need to find a vid of it sometime.

What does it do?
Well, it's used in OLL, and orients three corners clockwise.  Pretty useful.  You can also mirror it and do L'U'LU'L'U2L to get a "Left Sune" and orient three corners counter-clockwise.

Apparently this is one of the fastest "useful" algs out there...I think some people can do it in around a second or something. O_o...

But then again, I know Macky says the fastest alg is another OLL one which you can do in under a second.  But that's for next week. =)

Update: Macky says a Sune can be done in 0.7 seconds. O_o...
Apparently Macky is better at his other OLL alg, while Lars Petrus (another big name in cubing), just happens to be insanely fast with the Sune.

Also, apparently Macky does the U2 with two flicks of his right index finger.  Apparently there's a lot of different ways...

Update: Found a page with a vid on how to do the Sune properly (the way Lars Petrus does it)

So I practiced it today, and now I have =2 more= possibilities for the U2R'.  It's hard to explain, so if you can't understand this, just come to me and I'll show you how it's done. =)

So anyways, the first way I discovered is to place your right thumb on the F face of the FUL cubie, with your third and fourth fingers on the B faces of the UB edge and the RUB corner.  Then do the U2 with your right hand in that position (you might wanna try tilting the cube so that the U2 looks more like R2), and then at the end of it push with your right thumb for the R'.  It's a pretty good way to do it, but you have to be careful not to try to push the right thumb to early otherwise you'll get stuck.  Also, you might end up pushing your thumb too far...

The second way, the way that's shown in the Lars Petrus vid, is basically the same, only for the last R', instead of using your third and fourth fingers for leverage and pushing with your thumb like you would in a basic (RU') finger trick, you kind of flick your right thumb down to get the R', letting your entire right hand come off of the cube.  I think this is the way I'm going to stick to now, partly because it's the way shown in the vid, partly because it's funner to do, and also partly because it just looks awesome. =)

Now I just have to train my left hand to do that for a Left Sune. m(_ _)m

Fastest Times:
DDRKirby(ISQ) - 1.12 seconds

Last updated February 6, 2005 by DDRKirby(ISQ)