I got my first cube around 1981, when I was about 8 or 9 years old. I was far too young to work out a solution by myself, and since I also already had a solution booklet (I think it must have been James G. Nourse) there was little incentive to find my own solution.
Soon I got other puzzles, first the Octagon and the Pyraminx. I don't think I quite managed to solve these immediately, and I succumbed to my impatience and got another solution booklet (by Frans Schiereck) that had solutions for them. By then I began to understand how these puzzles worked, and got others such as the Orb, megaminx (supernova), Alexander's Star, Missing Link and Rubik's Revenge. All of these I solved by myself (except for the parity problem on the Revenge). The cube craze then came to an end.
Looking back, it is a shame that I was a little too young to really take advantage of the craze at the time. I didn't appreciate them enough, and didn't have the means to go out and collect everything I could. Most of the puzzles I got back then were presents.
For several years afterwards there was very little happening. Hardly any new puzzles, except for Rubik's Magic and then Rubik's Clock. I went to university to read mathematics, and was more interested in magic than puzzles. I decided against getting Rubik's Rabbits, and Tangle, though I did get Rubik's Maze for some reason. One notable moment was in 1994 when I found a Rubik's Domino at a magic shop. I should have bought all they had, but there was no way to foresee the prices they fetch now.
At some point I started a notebook for my magic tricks, and in the back I wrote down solutions to the puzzles I had. This, together with the Square-1 I bought, rekindled my interest in these puzzles. I now had the means to do something about it - I bought an old computer with which I could analyse them, and I ordered a few puzzles on the internet. About the same time more puzzles started appearing in the shops - mostly a range of Mefferts puzzles.
In 1999 I started this site. I was maintaining a website about the Psion Organiser II, and put some stuff about puzzles in my own directory. It just kept on growing as my collection grew. When the Psion site was wound up, my puzzle site had to move to its current location where it will stay as long as possible.
There were several reasons for making the site. I had already typed up many solutions in my computer, so it would be easy to make a few simple pages. I also had the opportunity to do so since I had the webspace available. There weren't any other sites that had such information. There were many cube and some pyraminx and megaminx solutions, but hardly any solutions for the lesser known puzzles. My solutions may not necessarily be better or easier than the others though, especially since in principle I want my solutions to be understandable through text only and not be overly dependent on graphics.
Now that I have my own digital camera, nearly all the photographs on the site are of my own puzzles. Previously most pictures were borrowed from Hendrik Haak, as he had very kindly given me permission to use them. His site, http://www.puzzle-shop.de has a shop and a large museum with pictures (but no solutions) of very many puzzles. There are many there that I would still like to add to my collection. Some other pictures were by Uwe Meffert, the man who invented the Pyraminx, and who manufactures and sells many excellent puzzles. My thanks to both of them for their help.
I have nearly all the puzzles that are featured on this site. The main exceptions are the Meier-Halpern Pyramid, and original versions Magic Rings and Magic Balls. I am ever on the lookout for puzzles to add to the collection. I am not interested however in picture cubes, disassembly puzzles or wire puzzles, or in collecting various editions of a puzzle in different packaging. If you have a puzzle that you think I might like, email me. ()
Here are some pictures taken around August 2002. Click on a picture to enlarge it in a separate window.
|Ton Dennenbroek (on right) and me (in socks) admiring my puzzle collection.||A closer view of the puzzles.|
In December 2012 I took a video of my collection. As you can see, it is now much larger than it was ten years before.