you have to write a guide for someone who wants to solve a rubik's cube. they own only a 3*3*3 cube.
the whole guide must be done only with writing and diagrams. no video/animation.
what's the simplest way? how would you make it as easy as possible for them to solve it? you want to get them solving it without needing a guide to look at, as quickly as possible.
what notation/method of description? and which method of solving the cube?

happyguy123
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 07082009 11:02

Revision help in partnership with Birmingham City University

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 07082009 11:12
There is a standard notation for cube operations  you'll find a description just about anywhere you search, for instance, here on Wikipedia. Diagrams may be helpful here.
If the goal is to memorise a solution as quickly as possible, then I would suggest learning a strategy with the fewest algorithms. (On the other hand, if the goal is to solve a given cube as quickly as possible, then it would be necessary to learn lots of specialcase algorithms.) 
Anon the 7th
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 07082009 11:15
doesnt it depend on the cube when you start i.e. what colours are where etc... ?
and maybe theres a book somewhere? 
azhao
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 07082009 11:16
Use your head, is what I do.

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 07082009 11:17
Commutators>Algorithms
Fact. 
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 07082009 12:06
If by commutators you mean things like what are listed on this page, I don't see what the difference is. It's just another set of algorithms.

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 07082009 12:06
Depends whether the guy finds it easier memorizing strings of foolproof moves or working it out and memorizing relatively few moves.
Petrus method is pretty good in regard to the latter. 
happyguy123
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 07082009 12:50
thanks for replies so far. i'm going to take a look at this "petrus method", and the page on "commutators" right after posting this reply. just in case they don't settle it, a few questions:
is "standard notation" the best notation/method of cube description you can imagine?
what would your "simplest guide" consist of? how would you keep the number of algorithms to a minimum, and make them really easy to use/learn/understand? how woudl you reduce the brain effort/time to learn to do the cube by yourself, to a minimum
can you think of ways to improve on this guide?:
http://www.learn2cube.com/ 
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 07082009 13:05
Let be a colour, where , and where the coloured centre is opposite the coloured centre, where . So for example is opposite . Let be the centre piece with colour , be a twocoloured piece for some , and be a threecoloured piece (a corner piece) for some .
Let be the side with centre , let be the edge piece between sides and , and let be the corner where the sides intersect. Then, if a cube is solved, each piece is in the position and each piece is in the position .
Let also be a sequence of rotations for some , where R, L, T, U, F and B represent the right, left, top, bottom, front and back sides respectively; and where a lack of asterisk resembles a clockwise rotation if that side were facing you, and an asterisk represents an anticlockwise rotation. Each instruction must be carried out in order, and the instruction sequence should be repeated until the desired outcome is reached.
1. Rotate piece to for all . If a piece rotates to such that its coloured side is in contact with , for some , then rotate the whole cube such that is on your right at the top of the cube, and then do .
Result: A cross of colour on the side
2. Rotate the cube such that is on the bottom, and move the piece to , then do until it is in the position and the colours are coordinated correctly. If no pieces are on the face, then will get them up there.
Result: Side completed with the first layer of sides completed (resembling an upsidedown Tshape on them).
3. Move the piece for some such that the side facing you is in contact with . If is on the right, do . If it is on the left, do . If a piece is in position but with the colours the wrong way round, then either of the above algorithms gets it out (depending on whether it is in the left or right.
Result: First two layers of complete.
4. If there is a coloured cross on the side , stop. If there is a line of colour on the side , then rotate the cube so that the line is on top and going from lefttoright, and do . If there is an Lshape, rotate it so that is facing up with the Lshape in the farleft corner, and then do and follow the previous instructions. If there is only a dot, do and then follow the previous instructions.
Result: coloured cross on the side
5. Do until there are two pieces such that the and coloured sides are in contact with and , respectively. If the pieces are adjacent, i.e. if , then rotate the cube such that is facing up and the two aforementioned pieces are to your right and at the farside, respectively; then do . If these pieces are opposite, i,e. if , then rotate the cube so that is facing up and one of the aforementioned pieces is facing you, and then do and follow the previous instructions
Result: Correctlyoriented cross of colour on side
6. Let be the number of pieces that are in the position . If , then stop. If , then rotate the cube such that is facing up and such that one such piece is to your nearright. Then do until . If , then do and repeat the above instructions.
Result: All corners in the cube in the correct place, but not necessarily correctlyoriented
7. Turn the cube over such that the side is facing down and such that an incorrectlyoriented pieces are to your nearright. Do until the side of the piece of colour is on the side . Then, do until another incorrectlyoriented corner is to your nearright, and repeat until the side is complete.
Result: All corners correctlyoriented
8. Do and/or until the cube is solved.
Result: Solved cube
Last edited by nuodai; 07082009 at 13:07. 
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 07082009 13:32
(Original post by happyguy123)
thanks for replies so far. i'm going to take a look at this "petrus method", and the page on "commutators" right after posting this reply. just in case they don't settle it, a few questions:
is "standard notation" the best notation/method of cube description you can imagine?
what would your "simplest guide" consist of? how would you keep the number of algorithms to a minimum, and make them really easy to use/learn/understand? how woudl you reduce the brain effort/time to learn to do the cube by yourself, to a minimum
can you think of ways to improve on this guide?:
http://www.learn2cube.com/ 
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 09082009 13:23
i use a combination:
fridrich f2l (intuitive) + petrus cross orientation and last slot at the same time + 2look OLL + 1 PLL 
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 09082009 13:25
(Original post by nuodai)
Let be a colour, where , and where the coloured centre is opposite the coloured centre, where . So for example is opposite . Let be the centre piece with colour , be a twocoloured piece for some , and be a threecoloured piece (a corner piece) for some .
Let be the side with centre , let be the edge piece between sides and , and let be the corner where the sides intersect. Then, if a cube is solved, each piece is in the position and each piece is in the position .
Let also be a sequence of rotations for some , where R, L, T, U, F and B represent the right, left, top, bottom, front and back sides respectively; and where a lack of asterisk resembles a clockwise rotation if that side were facing you, and an asterisk represents an anticlockwise rotation. Each instruction must be carried out in order, and the instruction sequence should be repeated until the desired outcome is reached.
1. Rotate piece to for all . If a piece rotates to such that its coloured side is in contact with , for some , then rotate the whole cube such that is on your right at the top of the cube, and then do .
Result: A cross of colour on the side
2. Rotate the cube such that is on the bottom, and move the piece to , then do until it is in the position and the colours are coordinated correctly. If no pieces are on the face, then will get them up there.
Result: Side completed with the first layer of sides completed (resembling an upsidedown Tshape on them).
3. Move the piece for some such that the side facing you is in contact with . If is on the right, do . If it is on the left, do . If a piece is in position but with the colours the wrong way round, then either of the above algorithms gets it out (depending on whether it is in the left or right.
Result: First two layers of complete.
4. If there is a coloured cross on the side , stop. If there is a line of colour on the side , then rotate the cube so that the line is on top and going from lefttoright, and do . If there is an Lshape, rotate it so that is facing up with the Lshape in the farleft corner, and then do and follow the previous instructions. If there is only a dot, do and then follow the previous instructions.
Result: coloured cross on the side
5. Do until there are two pieces such that the and coloured sides are in contact with and , respectively. If the pieces are adjacent, i.e. if , then rotate the cube such that is facing up and the two aforementioned pieces are to your right and at the farside, respectively; then do . If these pieces are opposite, i,e. if , then rotate the cube so that is facing up and one of the aforementioned pieces is facing you, and then do and follow the previous instructions
Result: Correctlyoriented cross of colour on side
6. Let be the number of pieces that are in the position . If , then stop. If , then rotate the cube such that is facing up and such that one such piece is to your nearright. Then do until . If , then do and repeat the above instructions.
Result: All corners in the cube in the correct place, but not necessarily correctlyoriented
7. Turn the cube over such that the side is facing down and such that an incorrectlyoriented pieces are to your nearright. Do until the side of the piece of colour is on the side . Then, do until another incorrectlyoriented corner is to your nearright, and repeat until the side is complete.
Result: All corners correctlyoriented
8. Do and/or until the cube is solved.
Result: Solved cube
That is amazing  I am very very impressed. I think the number of your posts I need to rep will take me to the end of the year easily 
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 10082009 18:36
I've made the problem even more concise and readable
Code:?!(i!1$3)(P(1:1,i:i))[M(1,i:1,i)?!C(1,i)[S(1,)/.%..]][S(4,)]?!(i!1$ 3)(j!1!i$3)(P(1:1,i:i,j:j))[M(1ij:4ij)//..?!P(1:1,i:i,j:j)[//..]]?! (i!1$3)(j!1$3!i$3)(P(i:i,j:j))[?P(i:j,j:i)[/./..%.%]M(ij:4j)?S(i,/) [/./..%.%]?S(i,\)[.\.\%.%.]?P(i:j,j:i)[/./..%.%]]?!(P(4:4,: ))[?(i=j$3!1$3)(P(4:4,i:)%P(4:4,j:))[M(4i:4i)S(i,\)%//..%.]?(i!j$3!1$ 3)(P(4:4,i:)%P(4:4,j:))[M(4i:4i)S(i,\)S(j,@)%//..%.]?!(i!1$3)(P(4:4,i :))[%//..%.]]?!(i!1$3)(P(4:4,i:i)):?!(i!1$3)(j!1$3)(P(i:i,j:j))[]?(i =j$3)[S(i,%)//.//.]?(i!j$3)[S(i,/)S(j,@)//.//.]]?!(i!1$3)(j!1$ 3!i$3)(M(4ij:4ij))[?(P(4:!4,i:!i,j:!j))[/.\/..\.]S(i,%)S(j,/)/.\ /..\.]S(1,)?!(i!1$3)(j!1$3!i$3)(P(4:4,i:i,j:j))[S(4ij,_/%)?!(P(4:4,i: i,j:j))[//..]_]?!(i)(j!i$3)(k!i$3!j$3)(P(i:i,j:j,k:k)&P(i:i,j:j))[__]
Spoiler:ShowPresenting it like this is easier on the eye:
Code:?!(i!1$3)(P(1:1,i:i))[ M(1,i:1,i) ?!C(1,i)[S(1,)/.%..] ] [S(4,)] ?!(i!1$3)(j!1!i$3)(P(1:1,i:i,j:j))[ M(1ij:4ij)//.. ?!P(1:1,i:i,j:j)[//..] ] ?!(i!1$3)(j!1$3!i$3)(P(i:i,j:j))[ ?P(i:j,j:i)[/./..%.%] M(ij:4j) ?S(i,/)[/./..%.%] ?S(i,\)[.\.\%.%.] ?P(i:j,j:i)[/./..%.%] ] ?!(P(4:4,:))[ ?(i=j$3!1$3)(P(4:4,i:)%P(4:4,j:))[M(4i:4i)S(i,\)%//..%.] ?(i!j$3!1$3)(P(4:4,i:)%P(4:4,j:))[M(4i:4i)S(i,\)S(j,@)%//..%.] ?!(i!1$3)(P(4:4,i:))[%//..%.] ] ?!(i!1$3)(P(4:4,i:i)): ?!(i!1$3)(j!1$3)(P(i:i,j:j))[] ?(i=j$3)[S(i,%)//.//.] ?(i!j$3)[S(i,/)S(j,@)//.//.] ] ?!(i!1$3)(j!1$3!i$3)(M(4ij:4ij))[ ?(P(4:!4,i:!i,j:!j))[/.\/..\.] S(i,%)S(j,/)/.\/..\. ] S(1,) ?!(i!1$3)(j!1$3!i$3)(P(4:4,i:i,j:j))[ S(4ij,_/%) ?!(P(4:4,i:i,j:j))[//..] _ ] ?!(i)(j!i$3)(k!i$3!j$3)(P(i:i,j:j,k:k)&P(i:i,j:j))[ __ ]
Spoiler:ShowCode:?  while the following is true, do the following instructions !  not/not equal to/not true =  equal to $  modulo ~  or &  and P(a:p,b:q,c:r)  move and orient (a,b,c) to position (p,q,r) M(abc,pqr)  move (a,b,c) to (p,q,r) without necessarily orienting it S(abc,pqr)  rotate cube such that the side of colour a is in direction p, and so on [...]  do ... / /.  right clockwise, right anticlockwise \ \.  left  .  top _ _.  bottom % %.  front @ @.  back

meatball893
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 11082009 09:52
(Original post by nuodai)
I've made the problem even more concise and readable
Code:?!(i!1$3)(P(1:1,i:i))[M(1,i:1,i)?!C(1,i)[S(1,)/.%..]][S(4,)]?!(i!1$ 3)(j!1!i$3)(P(1:1,i:i,j:j))[M(1ij:4ij)//..?!P(1:1,i:i,j:j)[//..]]?! (i!1$3)(j!1$3!i$3)(P(i:i,j:j))[?P(i:j,j:i)[/./..%.%]M(ij:4j)?S(i,/) [/./..%.%]?S(i,\)[.\.\%.%.]?P(i:j,j:i)[/./..%.%]]?!(P(4:4,: ))[?(i=j$3!1$3)(P(4:4,i:)%P(4:4,j:))[M(4i:4i)S(i,\)%//..%.]?(i!j$3!1$ 3)(P(4:4,i:)%P(4:4,j:))[M(4i:4i)S(i,\)S(j,@)%//..%.]?!(i!1$3)(P(4:4,i :))[%//..%.]]?!(i!1$3)(P(4:4,i:i)):?!(i!1$3)(j!1$3)(P(i:i,j:j))[]?(i =j$3)[S(i,%)//.//.]?(i!j$3)[S(i,/)S(j,@)//.//.]]?!(i!1$3)(j!1$ 3!i$3)(M(4ij:4ij))[?(P(4:!4,i:!i,j:!j))[/.\/..\.]S(i,%)S(j,/)/.\ /..\.]S(1,)?!(i!1$3)(j!1$3!i$3)(P(4:4,i:i,j:j))[S(4ij,_/%)?!(P(4:4,i: i,j:j))[//..]_]?!(i)(j!i$3)(k!i$3!j$3)(P(i:i,j:j,k:k)&P(i:i,j:j))[__]
Spoiler:ShowPresenting it like this is easier on the eye:
Code:?!(i!1$3)(P(1:1,i:i))[ M(1,i:1,i) ?!C(1,i)[S(1,)/.%..] ] [S(4,)] ?!(i!1$3)(j!1!i$3)(P(1:1,i:i,j:j))[ M(1ij:4ij)//.. ?!P(1:1,i:i,j:j)[//..] ] ?!(i!1$3)(j!1$3!i$3)(P(i:i,j:j))[ ?P(i:j,j:i)[/./..%.%] M(ij:4j) ?S(i,/)[/./..%.%] ?S(i,\)[.\.\%.%.] ?P(i:j,j:i)[/./..%.%] ] ?!(P(4:4,:))[ ?(i=j$3!1$3)(P(4:4,i:)%P(4:4,j:))[M(4i:4i)S(i,\)%//..%.] ?(i!j$3!1$3)(P(4:4,i:)%P(4:4,j:))[M(4i:4i)S(i,\)S(j,@)%//..%.] ?!(i!1$3)(P(4:4,i:))[%//..%.] ] ?!(i!1$3)(P(4:4,i:i)): ?!(i!1$3)(j!1$3)(P(i:i,j:j))[] ?(i=j$3)[S(i,%)//.//.] ?(i!j$3)[S(i,/)S(j,@)//.//.] ] ?!(i!1$3)(j!1$3!i$3)(M(4ij:4ij))[ ?(P(4:!4,i:!i,j:!j))[/.\/..\.] S(i,%)S(j,/)/.\/..\. ] S(1,) ?!(i!1$3)(j!1$3!i$3)(P(4:4,i:i,j:j))[ S(4ij,_/%) ?!(P(4:4,i:i,j:j))[//..] _ ] ?!(i)(j!i$3)(k!i$3!j$3)(P(i:i,j:j,k:k)&P(i:i,j:j))[ __ ]
Spoiler:ShowCode:?  while the following is true, do the following instructions !  not/not equal to/not true =  equal to $  modulo ~  or &  and P(a:p,b:q,c:r)  move and orient (a,b,c) to position (p,q,r) M(abc,pqr)  move (a,b,c) to (p,q,r) without necessarily orienting it S(abc,pqr)  rotate cube such that the side of colour a is in direction p, and so on [...]  do ... / /.  right clockwise, right anticlockwise \ \.  left  .  top _ _.  bottom % %.  front @ @.  back
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