SOMA Crystal
SOMA News 13 Jan 2000, 1 sep 2017

The marvellous Windows SOMA programs from
Bob Nungester of Cupertino (California, USA).

This Newsletter is an updated version of the older 2020.01.12 Newsletter.

The SOMA compare program, described at the end of this letter, can now be found
updated at the 2020.12.05 Newsletter. with Bob's newest Windows 10 version.

Programmed by: Bob Nungester

This Windows SOMA solving program:
Will read SOMA text files, accept manual figure entry, compute solution to
figures, show solution in color graphics, that you may view from 4 sides.
It will solve puzzles using from 1 to 14 SOMA pieces, thereby allowing
figures using upto 2 complete puzzles.

Unzip it in a free directory and run the program.
The DblSoma program ZIP file.

      Note: Windows 10 in some PC's may object to running these programs due to lack of certificate.      
These programs are made privately by Bob, and not by a Microsoft registered compagny.
It may help if you run the programs as Administrator.
Having done that once, Win10 should remember your approval.

Solving SOMA puzzles has upto now been performed, either by making the puzzle by hand (The REAL game), or by some solving program. (ie. The Australian Ross SOMA Solver program.)

DblSoma: For Windows fans, one of the best solvers has now been improved considerably.

  • Figures from 1 to 14 pieces can be solved, allowing you to use upto two complete SOMA sets.
  • You may select any combination of pieces to use.
  • Figure files may hold several different figures.
  • Solutions can be saved, and inspected.
  • The program can do Batch-solve on a file holding several figures.
  • The figure can be rotated around all 3 axis.
  • Figure entry is intuitive, and uses shadows to ease placement on higher levels.
  • Figure sizes upto 9 x 16 cubes upto 7 levels.

    PS: Note that:

    Bob Nungester has now revisited his SOMA solver programs.
    Originally Bob had a SOMA solver, a solver for double-SOMA, and a program to help me managing the huge amount of solutions on these SOMA pages.
    However this time Bob took the Double solver, and expanded it so that this single program will now
    solve figures ranging from one single SOMA piece upto the 14 pieces found in two complete SOMA puzzles.

    At the same time Bob enhanced the user interface to handle the selection of these pieces

    I think you will find most of the program functions quite intuitive.
    You either load a figure file or start entering your own idea.
    The entry is done by clicking in the lefthand field. It defaults to level 1 (the bottom layer)
    you then click on the next level button to enter the next level. You will notice that the lower levels appear as shadows in your field
    thereby making it much easier to place the next cubes in the right spot.
    Having done your design, press [Solve] to see if it is solvable. And then "Do NOT forget to save your solution.
    Many great figures have been lost because the puzzler forgot to make a note of it."

    Once the solution is complete you can cycle through the pieces to display each one individually in the wireframe model.

    When you save, Your figure solution will be appended to the file you chose (or a new file is created if you select a new name).
    If the figure is just entered, it will be saved with '*' for each cube.
    If it is solved, the solution will be saved using the piece codes. First using the letters V, L, T, Z, A, B, P
    and if a piece is used the second time in a figure, it will be saved using the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
      1. Enter the name of the file to hold your figure. (ie. if you enter 'NewFig' the file "NewFig.htm" will be used).
      2. In the popup window enter the figure number or name. (ie. enter '005X' to place "/SOMA005X" in the first line).
      3. Enter your descriptive text. (ie. 'My nice tower' will put the line ";My nice tower" as the second line).
    The following lines hold the figure in our standard notation.
    If you write your own solution files in a text editor (like Notepad) then be aware that it MUST have a blank line at the end.

    The saved solution file:
       ;My 2 boxes

    The programs uses recursive piece placement with an Island and Parity checking method.
    Figure drawing is done by using owerlapping icon images.
    The program supports the .HTM file format used on this Web site.
    If you want to know more, then this is The creation story of WIN-SOMA.

    Ps: Bob also examined some of the stranger figures, and Bob's 9 tall Hexominoes. are here.
    Some of the Unsolvable Nonominoes may even be solved at double hight using two SOMA sets in The Double Nonominoes.

    Get the SOMA solver in this ZIP file. And then just extract it into it's own folder and run the programs.
    Version 2.0 .


    In my Newsletter 2000.08.14 I describe the SOMA+Plus puzzle, using 11 pieces (of which 7 are the SOMA set)
    Testing these figures can of couse be somewhat difficult.
    But Bob has taken a slightly older version of his solver (2002 V1.1) and implemented a SOMA+Plus solver in it.
    Although it does not have all the new features, it's still a great program for checking solvability of a SOMA+Plus figure.
    You can get this specialized V1.1 solver here .

    The Windows SOMA COMPARE program - Now in V1.3

              This version will only work in older Windows versions
              Try to visit the 2020.12.05 Newsletter. with Bob's newest Windows 10 version.

    This program will run on ALL Windows 3.11 / 95 / 98.
    Just copy the files of this zip into the appropriate folder, and run the SOMACP13.EXE program.
    The newest version is here:
    Version 1.3 SOMACP13.ZIP . Denmark - Europe.

    What it does.

    This program will check files for duplicate Soma figures. The interface allows the user to select one file and then the program checks all other files in the same directory against each figure in the selected file.
    It works for any figure size up to 54 cubes.
    It checks each of the 48 possible orientations (same as symmetries) The symmetry number listed for each figure shows the transformation that will make the duplicate figure the same as this figure.

    Each symmetry maps points from X, Y, Z to some other value. For example, a 90 degree clockwise rotation about the X axis maps each X, Y, Z to X, -Z, Y (symmetry #11). Listed below are the 48 symmetries:

    1  X, Y, Z   9  X, Z, Y  17  Y, X, Z  25  Y, Z, X  33  Z, X, Y  41  Z, Y, X
    2  X, Y,-Z  10  X, Z,-Y  18  Y, X,-Z  26  Y, Z,-X  34  Z, X,-Y  42  Z, Y,-X
    3  X,-Y, Z  11  X,-Z, Y  19  Y,-X, Z  27  Y,-Z, X  35  Z,-X, Y  43  Z,-Y, X
    4  X,-Y,-Z  12  X,-Z,-Y  20  Y,-X,-Z  28  Y,-Z,-X  36  Z,-X,-Y  44  Z,-Y,-X
    5 -X, Y, Z  13 -X, Z, Y  21 -Y, X, Z  29 -Y, Z, X  37 -Z, X, Y  45 -Z, Y, X
    6 -X, Y,-Z  14 -X, Z,-Y  22 -Y, X,-Z  30 -Y, Z,-X  38 -Z, X,-Y  46 -Z, Y,-X
    7 -X,-Y, Z  15 -X,-Z, Y  23 -Y,-X, Z  31 -Y,-Z, X  39 -Z,-X, Y  47 -Z,-Y, X
    8 -X,-Y,-Z  16 -X,-Z,-Y  24 -Y,-X,-Z  32 -Y,-Z,-X  40 -Z,-X,-Y  48 -Z,-Y,-X

    This one's written in VB3, so it will run in Windows 3.1 or later.
    SOMACOMP.EXE is the program file. In order to run, it requires CMDIALOG.VBX, COMMDLG.DLL (common dialog box custom control files) and VBRUN300.DLL (needed for any VB3 program). These must be located in the C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory, OR they can be put in the same directory as the .EXE.
    You might already have the VBX and DLL files, but I zipped them all together in case you don't have them.
    Once again, VB has a large DLL needed to run any VB program, but at least the one for VB3 is "only" 400K instead of 1.5MB.

    Bob did almost everything possible to make the program fast. Comparing a typical file with 25 figures against all the 1,069 nonominoes takes less than 4 seconds!
    That works out to over 350,000 figure comparisons per second.
    The worst case example is comparing the large nonomino file against all other figure files available from Thorleif's site. That took about 7 minutes and found over 100 duplicates in various files.

    PS: The program is freeware.