Message #83

From: Roice Nelson <>
Subject: RE: [MC4D] new member
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2004 11:57:53 -0500

Hey Chris,

Congrats on the cube! And much thanks for the intro. It was really
interesting to read about your profession, which sounds very cool. I’m
amazed that accomplishing things like sending satellites to orbit Lagrange
points is even possible.

Not that you would want take your work into the hobby realm, but I thought I
would pass along a registration code for a shareware simulator I have online
called Gravitation3D ( You can just cut and
paste this registration information into the program if you are interested
in taking a look.

email address&#58;<br>
registration key&#58; LFL6-DBLX-7ZFZ-6JHG

The calculation engine uses a simple integration scheme and so is not very
accurate, but I may be upgrading it some relatively soon in response to a
request from a company doing some work for NASA. Because of their interest,
just earlier this week I was learning about Lagrange points and attempting
to create some stable L4 and L5 Lagrange point orbits with it. So reading
your intro was a cool coincidence.

Anyway, congratulations again on the cube :)

All the best,


> —–Original Message—–
> From: youarenotmorgansullivan
> []
> Sent: Sunday, June 13, 2004 1:39 PM
> To:
> Subject: [MC4D] new member
> Hello all, let me introduce myself to this select group.
> I’m Chris Watson, 32 years old. Originally I was a physicist but I’ve
> mutated into an engineer over time. I come from the UK, but I now
> work in Germany, doing spacecraft operations. (This prob. sounds
> quite exciting, but the reality is mainly lots of integration and
> system testing prior to the real thing happening. It has it’s moments
> though, e.g. simulations - these can get (just a little bit) like
> the simulation bit at the beginning of Wrath of Khan. Currently I’m
> working on MSG2, a GEO meteosat that will go up early next year, and
> Herschel-Planck, two astronomy sats going to Lagrange point L2 a few
> years hence. These days some of what I do is dangerously close to
> management :-( , but I prefer to think of it as some of the
> things that I now integration test happen to be people.)
> Outside of work I like books (e.g. Snowcrash, Strange Case of the Dog
> in the Night Time), film (e.g. Cypher), martial arts and outdoorsy
> stuff like climbing. I enjoyed leading a youthgroup whilst in the UK,
> but my frankly rubbish German language skills have put this activity
> on hold for now.
> Anyway…
> Magic cube-wise my solution wasn’t very clean (it’s uploaded if
> anyone wants to see it in all it’s messiness), since there was an
> awful lot of me moving faces back and forth to get a feel for what I
> was doing. My approach was to try to do it essentially the way I do
> the normal cube, but obviously generalised up for the extra
> dimension - complete one cube and then build outwards, through
> the "middle layer" and on to the final still-muddled cube. In general
> I tried to do all the "mixing moves" on (…sometime adjacent to) the
> last cube to be solved. This final cube I did with adapted "final
> face" moves from the 3d cube. I did the normal 3d algorithm one way,
> rotated the inner unsolved cube, and then undid the 3d algorithm to
> restrict all changes to the inner cube. This gives a set of
> algorithms for moving a few hyper-cubies restricted to a single face.
> This is an easy approach for someone like me thinking mainly in terms
> of the 3d cube manipulations, but can’t have been particularly
> efficient. I should really have a go at cleaning the approach up
> some…
> Embarrassingly, having to unscramble the face centres mid way through
> came as a surprise, because of course you don’t have to worry about
> this on the normal cube.
> It took me back twenty years to when I was first playing with the
> original cube. Thinking "…now if I just rotate this bit here… no
> wait, that disturbs this part over here.." etc. Absolutely fantastic.
> Thanks to Don, Melinda and Jay for putting the splendid thing
> together.
> Chris.
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