A property has been added in 3ds Max 4 to a node’s interface called .handle. This can be used to get the unique node handle ID from the node.
id = $Box01.handle
Returns the unique id associated with the node
A method in the maxOps interface will return a node associated with a given handle.
node = maxOps.getNodeByHandle <number>
Returns the node associated with the id passed in.
It is safer to say $box01.inode.handle than $box01.handle. This is to prevent cases where the baseobject has property called handle, like a teapot, and you get that object’s handle instead of the node handle.