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Pekka Lehtiö

Pekka was a director of Teleste, the Finnish company responsible for the development and manufacture of Tandberg language learning labs which were perhaps dominant at the time. He approached Ultralab to invite us to develop a new language learning environment using multimedia computers.
Reflection: Pekka with his patient and generous attitude taught me much about the challenge of large scale development and managing a relationship with a commercial partner.

2010 Pekka Lehtiö.jpeg

He notably explained to me the idea of a 'Chinese contract' which was designed to offer the most positive outcome for both customer and client even if the project was curtailed.

We negotiated such a contract, and Sam Deane and Alice Mitchell worked with me and others to develop Aardvark - software to allow the development of three dimensional navigable spaces where linguistic challenges would be confronted in relevant and meaningful contexts, but with considerable freedom to explore.

These were very early days for such ideas, especially our intent to make the spaces constructable by language teachers rather than developers. In that sense it was a forerunner to such spaces as Second Life. Pekka encouraged us to be ambitious but also attempted to maintain some control over our delivery milestones! At the end of the project he invited us to Finland to present over two days to the development team based in Turku.

(Words: 239 )

Lewis Carroll describes a fictional map that had:

"the scale of a mile to the mile."

A character notes some practical difficulties with such a map and states that:

"we now use the country itself, as its own map, and I assure you it does nearly as well."
— Sylvie and Bruno Concluded, Lewis Carroll, 1893