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Nactation Tutorial: update

Posted By: Nack Ballard
Date: Wednesday, 25 December 2013, at 12:48 a.m.

Nactation Tutorial Update

I am pleased to announce that the long awaited second edition of the Nactation tutorial is now available. It can be downloaded at http://www.nackbg.com/nactation.pdf.

The tutorial took somewhat longer to update than I expected. I apologize for the delay, but hope you’ll find that the wait has been worthwhile. My thanks to Mike Mannon for his great suggestions and invaluable proofing passes over the last few weeks.

Before clicking on the link, you might find it helpful to look over the improvements (summarized below) that have been made in the updated version. Over the years, most of the changes to Nactation itself have already been discussed on the forum, though (until now) the references have been scattered. A few of the changes are fairly recent.

  • “Bookmarks” (added by Mike) make navigating the tutorial much faster. (These are explained in the Introduction.)
  • Comparisons are made between non-doublet B, S and Z (starting in section 4).
  • I (Inside) and J (Jump) have vital areal roles (see section 5.) The old meanings of I (In) and J (Jostle) are obsolete.
  • Areal letters and style letters, and their differences in function, are explained (sections 5, 6, 12 and 13). T and L have a fewer-blots convention (section 13).
  • The four areas of movement (run, down, jump and inside)—essential building blocks for areal letters—are explained and illustrated (sections 5 and 15.)
  • There is a section for symbols (section 7).
  • There is a section for numerals (section 9).
  • Definitions of characters are reiterated in detail in Part 2 (starting in section 10).
  • The unstack-from-tallest-point rule (which complicated the slot rules and confused some readers) has been expunged. The transpositions of an early 32$ and 32%, and of 32W and 32w—are sometimes a casualty, but the tradeoff in simplicity is worthwhile. Slotting priority has been whittled down to three conventions, only one of which is used with any regularity. (Section 13.)
  • The hit-more-6 rule and its relationship with familial rankings (upper/lower case in section 10, and italics, etc., in section 14) are demonstrated in detail.
  • F is now a doublet letter (see section 16.) If you feel an affinity for the old style letter F—which meant to Float a spare, I suppose you can continue to use it for non-doublets, but it has been dropped from the tutorial.
  • Doublet families are updated, including RDJI and the underlined and dotted versions of BEACON. The meanings of G, M, Y and (doublet) Q have been refined. RDJI, FGMY and FGMY efficiently cover the twelve 2:1:1 families. (See sections 15–16.)
  • All positions diagrammed in the tutorial are rolled out! (See nacbracs in section 17.)
  • There are three indexes, organized by (1) section number, (2) concept, and (3) Nactation character. References are by diagram number. (Section 18.)

If you have little or no interest in Nactation, you can still benefit from studying the several dozen positions along with their rollout results. If you are a casual nactator, Part 1 provides you with a complete system. If you are a serious nactator, or just enjoy a little light reading, the long-anticipated Part 2 awaits you!



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