Message #20

From: David Vanderschel <>
Subject: Fwd: Re: [MC4D] Done again !!!
Date: Fri, 01 Aug 2003 20:06:23 -0000

Date: Fri Mar 14, 2003 10:19 am

— In, Jay Berkenbilt <ejb@q…> wrote:

Hello all. I’m coming up for air now after several months working on
an intense but very enjoyable project at my job. I’m actually in
India right now. I’ve been here for a week. Three others from my
company came today and are all very jet-lagged. The four of us got to
talking about religion and then enlightenment, and one among us who is
not a mathematician mentioned that he has never tried this thought out
on a mathematician, but always felt that true enlightenment is the
ability to see in more than three dimensions. I’m not sure how
literally he meant this, but it lead to a discussion about our
favorite puzzle.

Now that everyone else is asleep (it’s 9:30 p.m. here), so i decide
stay up a little longer and play with mc4d for the first time in over
two years. Before starting, I decided to catch up on mc4d email
including Eric’s 5^4 solution. As requested, I’ve run the move
counting script. Eric’s solution weighs in at 7,724 moves. I think
this must be why no one else has attempted it!

The last time I’ve played with the puzzle was in August, 2000 when I
had set out to beat Roice’s record for shortest solution, but I
stopped working on it as a result of other aspects of life getting in
the way. (I wasn’t likely to beat his sub-500-move solution anyway!)

In the mean time, my work situation has forced me to stop being a
UNIX-only person and to write some native Windows code. I’m still
very strongly UNIX-biased and in fact have done my Windows development
by porting my UNIX-based build environment to Windows using Cygwin

  1. I am also using an excellent cross-platform GUI toolkit called
    wxWindows. This allows me to write truly portable graphical
    applications that work equally well under Linux and Windows and have
    identical functionality. (There’s actually nothing to restrict it
    from running on other platforms as well, but those are the only ones
    I’ve tested it on.)

I’ve had in the back of my mind for some time to try to move mc4d to
wxWindows. We’ve had discussions from time to time about a Java port,
but that effort seems to have stalled. In any case, I feel that there
is merit to having a native version of the code. I’ve been sitting on
several modifications to the source code that we wanted to include in
a 2.2 release but haven’t been able to do a release because, for
reasons I have not yet determined, I am unable to compile a working
version of the X11 version of the code. (Last time I tried to debug
it was 13 months ago during my previous India trip, but I attempt a
new compile with every new gcc, glibc, or XFree86 release.)

Do people think it would be useful to have a native cross-platform
version of the MagicCube4d application? This would enable us to bring
some of the UNIX-only functionality (such as n^4, n > 3 and macros) to
the Windows version and would eliminate much of the code duplication.
I may never have time to do this, but if I thought others might be
interested in a newer version, it would certainly increase the
likelihood of my doing it.

As I reread this message, I barely recognize my own writing style. I
guess maybe I am still a bit jet-lagged after all! In any case, I’d
be interested in any thoughts on this….

— End forwarded message —