Dear Simon

It was a privilege to meet you at the CCS last Thursday; and a pleasure, despite your clear frustration at the progress of the second edition of Pegasus.

This is an odd letter really, and indeed a bit cheeky, but I'm asking for a dedicated half-hour or so of your time. I can just about imagine how busy you are, and how many the demands on your time, but nonetheless hope you might find a slot in your diary. I'd be happy to travel to anywhere you find convenient, and to invite you to a decent bit of lunch.

The meeting would be not just a social chat, but a definite period of time, with just the two of us, at at a table, with paper and books, focusing on the programming issues. At the end of that time you would either know that I didn't know what I was talking about, or that your programming pages had problems.

It hardly needs saying that I am not seeking recognition, or just to be a nuisance, or to horn in on your important book. Nor am I critical of George's or Derek's work: they both know all there is to know about programming the Pegasus, Derek now from a loftier perspective. I imagine that in the hurly­-burly of preparing the first edition for the press, the material became distorted. It is, after all, just a part of your book.

If you feel a meeting would not be worthwhile, then I promise never to raise the matter again, with Alan or anyone else. And you must of course feel free not to even answer this letter – which I should take as a 'not worthwhile' response!  But, if you could manage it, any time after March 16th.

Yours sincerely

John Wheater

Hello, John.

As to your major comments, I believe that these would substantially alter the layout and/or style and/or flow of the book and are therefore not possible at this time.  Furthermore, I actually disagree with some of your more general comments about the book's flavour and scope.

In view of the above, ..., I feel a meeting with you at this time is not going to be worthwhile.  I'm currently struggling to get the final text of my book on Elliott-Automation to the publishers and this is consuming a great deal of my time and energy.

I expect that we will bump into each other again in the context of a CCS Seminar, so no doubt there will be opportunities for a chat.

Regards, Simon.

Dear Simon

It was good of you to take the time to answer my letter.

But I am disappointed you cannot find me half an hour; and here I am, breaking my promise not to speak of it again, but only to you. I had this picture of a brief discourse on mediaeval scholastic lines, where each disagreement is patiently followed up, without acrimony, until the actual areas of disagreement are unveiled.

In the talk I was due to deliver in May, I had thought to make the point that, like the whole of knowledge in ancient times, it is possible for one man to learn all there is to know about Pegasus programming. You, I think, quite rightly, have not troubled to learn its intricacies; but it wouldn't take you long, a few minutes merely, with guidance, – and without it you cannot see the problems, and your book will remain seriously flawed in that area; the simple removal of much of the existing material would be better than leaving it in.

Stirred up, through an ancient acquaintance with Alan, to take an interest in the CCS, I did form the view that I had something to contribute. But, I am used to being taken seriously, and there is no time* for me to patiently worm my way in to being recognised in this new forum. Like you (in this alone, probably!), I have a myriad of things to occupy my time, and, if I cannot get you to pay me even the tiniest attention, then I'll just give it a miss.

I beg that you do not put yourself to the trouble of replying, unless you have a change of heart.

With best wishes,


*Ever at my back I hear / Time's...

John Wheater -

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