Who's Who at Twisty Puzzles Forum

The following I have posted in the "Who's Who" thread at www.twistypuzzles.com in January 2010:
Hi, I'm a member of the TwistyPuzzles forum since September 2009, I’m not sure if this thread is of high interest to many members. Anyway, here I go (You may recognize that English is not my mother language, but I'll try my best):

1) Age, location, profession, eBay ID?

I'm close to the age of Ernö Rubik (who is just a bit younger than Uwe Meffert). I live in Germany and are a retired manager in computer development. My Ebay Id is the same as the one in the forum.

2) Is your main twisty puzzles interest solving, collecting, building, or something else?

I like both solving and collecting in the following sense:
I'll buy new puzzles only if I have solved everything I own so far.
You can say that I'm collecting new challenges AND pleasant variants of the puzzles I have in my collection already.

Here is the link to my twisty puzzle homepage (still under construction):

3) How long have you been doing the above? If (like most of us) you lost touch with the field for a while, tell us the story! How did you get dragged back in?

I've got my first Rubik's cube back in 1979. I have bought what I could get in the local toy shops in the early 80s.
You can say that I'm a grandpa of the puzzle freaks regarding Rubik's cube and relatives.
I have never lost the interest in twisty puzzles but I got much more motivated when I recognized in the late 90s that the Internet had been an environment where the “greatest puzzle” of all times could survive.
I ordered everything I could get, mainly from Uwe Meffert.

The year 2009 has been a great year for new puzzles and I could add a few custom made puzzles, too.
Since I have become a member of twistypuzzles.com, my wife considers me a complete addict.
Sadly, I do not know personally anybody who shares my interest in this hobby.
(Two exceptions: I have teached my son the normal cubes (3x3x3, 4x4x4, 5x5x5) and my wife could solve the 3x3x3 back in 1981. Very recently she has reanimated that knowledge with my help.)
Therefore, the forum at twistypuzzles.com is the only place to meet similar puzzle freaks.
Most recently I have got a member of the Jades club and are looking forward what will come out of it.
I trust that this is an idealistic club and not a marketing activity!

4) If you build puzzles, what have you built, and what are your current projects?

Does not apply to me right now. I would be interested to start something with CAD, but have no access to Solidworks. Buying Solidworks seems too expensive as there is no home edition.

5) How many puzzles are in your collection? Would you dare estimate how much it's worth?

Currently (January 2010) I have 182 twisty puzzles in my collection and I am counting 75 different "challenges".
I have memorized the solutions for all. I have found my own (sometimes clumsy) solutions for many of them, but I confess that I looked up several in the Internet.
I define "different challenge" as a puzzle that has a considerably different solution or where shape shifting adds considerable confusion.
E.g. the Morphegg has an 3x3x3 mechanism but is essentially much harder to solve than an ordinary 3x3x3.
I can calculate the costs only (including some shipment costs), meaning what I have paid for the puzzles: $ x.xxx

6) How would you define the "boundaries" of your collection? In other words, which types of puzzles do you collect, and which puzzles do you avoid?

I collect twisty puzzles and I have never collected anything els. I own a few wooden puzzles, but would not consider myself a collector of them.
My price boundaries are custom puzzles that cost more than 400 - 500 dollars. (But I have bidden $ 1.500 once for a puzzle I wanted really badly. My wife would say, fortunately, somebody else went further.)

7) Which one of your puzzles is the sentimental favourite and why?

Unfortunately, I’ve lost my first Rubik’s cubes in a fire back in 1983. My oldest are therefore some “original” 4x4x4 and 5x5x5 that survived the fire.
I admire very much the achievement of Mr. Verdes since I had read for twenty years that the 5x5x5 is a natural boundary that could never be crossed.

8) Which one would currently have the most monetary value on eBay?

Probably, the few custom twisty puzzles I bought from forum members on Ebay.
The highest price was for a Complete MasterCube (based on the Rainbow Masterball, do not perceive it as an ordinary 4x4x4).

9) What is your favourite puzzle overall for: a) solving, b) appearance, c) feel, d) complexity, e) other reasons.

a)Solving: That changes from time to time. The higher order cubes to not really provide a higher challenge. (I’m not speedsolving). Recently I found the Crazy 4x4x4 type II an interesting challenge.
b) For Appearance, my custom Axis Icosahedron (made by Josh B; 3x3x3 mechanism)
c) For Feel, V-Cube 7 with Cubesmith tiles
d) For complexity, I assume the Master Skewb will be interesting. But I’m on a waiting list, only.

10) Enough about puzzles. Do you have any other hobbies?

Reading (novels and scientific books), hiking, biking, skiing, jogging, Yoga – and my biggest “hobby” is my family: one wife, three adult childs and one grandchild (the one on my avatar at the age of six months. I hope to teach her the cube as early as possible)
11) Is there anything else interesting about yourself that you'd like to share?