Curriculum Vitae and Capability
- Robin Whittle
for more on consumer advocacy regarding protecting privacy and
preventing censorship. This includes my 2023-08-20 critique of
the exposure draft of the Communications Legislation Amendment
(Combatting Misinformation and Disinformation) Bill 2023.
First Principles http://www.firstpr.com.au
firstname.lastname@example.org January 2007
This is a reasonably detailed CV covering my electronic,
telecommunications and advocacy work.
I was born in England in 1955, grew up in Melbourne and
lived here ever since. In 2004, Tina and I were married. We
live in a north-eastern suburb of Melbourne.
I finished HSC at Camberwell Grammar School
in 1972 and pursued my interests in electronics and music through my
and my first business Real World Interfaces until 1992, with a year at
La Trobe University in 1976 studying music, philosophy and
While my involvement in electronics, software and music continues, in
I became involved in telecommunications - initially as a privacy
then as a technical writer and consultant. First Principles is my
business name for writing and consulting.
I specialise in thorough
of complex and indefinite issues, and in explaining and discussing the
key questions, principles and strategies with those who are not
accustomed to understanding technical matters. Most of my
telecommunications work in recent years has been writing the
Telecommunications Technology Library, for Paul Budde
Communications. A list of the reports I wrote is at: ../telco/pb-telco/ .
and advocacy is often a rather solitary activity, but I
research and discussion. Consulting projects can be a welcome
opportunity to work intensively as part of a team.
Areas of consulting expertise
- Technical and demand aspects of broadband communications -
HFC, ADSL and other "last-mile" customer access network technologies.
- Privacy and consumer issues regarding telecommunications,
intrusive and inappropriate marketing, telemarketing, Calling
Display and Malicious Call Trace.
- Technical, demand and
marketing aspects of the music industry -
future scenarios for network-based artist-to-listener, and
music discovery, marketing and delivery.
- Explaining Internet
communications - with a particular focus on
regulation, copyright, cryptography and privacy issues. Exploring
the "how" and "why" questions of various technical approaches to
control of Internet communications.
- Writing articles,
particularly those explaining complex
a non-specialist audience - including technical diagrams and
- User documentation for software,
hardware and Internet access
- Writing articles and/or brochure copy for
- Assembly, C (and to a limited extent
C++) programming, especially
for DSP and real-time
systems - Unix with 32 bit CPUs or embedded systems with smaller
- Assembly language programming with the MicroChip
the dsPIC 16 bit Digital Signal Processing microcontroller: http://www.microchip.com .
- Analogue, digital electronic design, including schematics
- Programmable logic design: experience to
date with Lattice GAL
- Mechanical and front-panel design, including Lexan
- Reverse engineering of software and hardware.
operate my own Linux servers at home and a FreeBSD server in
San Francisco - on which this site is hosted. I have some
expertise in this, but don't do sysadmin or Web design work
Articles and technical writingPlease see these pages:
Telecommunications consulting projects
- 1994 Consulting to Melbourne pre-press and graphic design
Equation. BR-ISDN WAN hardware and software for teleworking via
of Macintosh network to a remote site. Organised the installation
of Microlinks at both sites.
- 1994-95 Consulting to the Bureau
of Transport and Communication
as part of the Communications Futures Project - resulting in a 350 page
paper "Future Developments in the Music Market." http://www.firstpr.com.au/musicmar/
- Project for Telstra
- For Cutler and Co. as part of their
Online Economy project.
- For LaTrobe Shire Council on Internet
- 1995 - 96. Fine-tuned and wrote
user documentation for a
Internet starter kit, for Melbourne ISP InterDomain. Developed and
user documentation for a Windows 3.1 Internet starter kit.
- Created small website for Ballarat Management
- Consulting to barrister Paul Marin as an
expert witness in a
regarding allegedly illegal material in "undeleted" computer files.
- For TUSC Computer Systems in Doncaster, a software house for
systems. I researched the company's methods and achievements and
wrote an article for internal and marketing use on the culture and
of the company.
- 1997 Consulting for Stronghold
Developments on development
of an HFC-based set-top-box for Internet access.
- As part of a team assembled by CIRCIT for the
Authority, on technical standards for IT and telecommunications for VET
(TAFE) colleges, particularly in respect of distance education.
Aurora Communications (NetComm R&D spin-off) on
for HFC/satellite Set-Top-Box, cable-modem and MPEG-2 based web
Technical referee for their successful START grant application -
the company was unable to raise the necessary venture capital to
- For Macquarie Securities - client briefings on
- For Azzopardi and Partners in Sydney -
copy for an Optus
- 2003 Further work on technical standards for
sector, with John Murphy and Associates. The final report should
be at: http://www.flexiblelearning.net.au/standards/reports/PS2003_Final_Report.pdf
. A copy is here: ../telco/PS2003_Final_Report.pdf
. My contribution is mainly pages 75 to 94 (Attachment 11 Web
Site Usability and Attachment 12 Base-level Web Skills for Learners):
guidelines for website usability which may be helpful in many areas
- 1996 IIR Interactive Multimedia Conference, Sydney:
cross industry prospects for the use of multimedia."
Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals Annual Conference,
"Technology in Consumer Transactions: Setting the Scene".
IIR Information Privacy Conference, Sydney: "Privacy
the customer says it is."
Advocacy, committees and debates
- 1992 Submissions and meeting with AUSTEL Privacy
the problems of unwanted telephone calls of all kinds, telemarketing in
particular Calling Number Display.
- Prepared a funding
proposal for a mail survey into
issues, for the Telecom Social and Policy Research Fund - but like most
applications, this was not funded.
- In the Netherlands, met
with local privacy advocates and the
of PTT Telecom. This resulted in a short paper and submission to
an AUSTEL billing inquiry, on the privacy aspects of itemised billing.
- Presented paper and diagram of telecommunications privacy issues
workshop "Human Communication Factors in Communication and Information
- 1993 Wrote a largely positive
critique of the AUSTEL
- Wrote privately circulated paper explaining
ADSL and other
and exploring some social implications: "Video Through the Telephone
- the Technical and Social Aspects of ADSL and other Pay TV and
- 1993 - 96 Member of the Consumers'
- 1994 Some of the above material, the
1994 ADSL articles and
table comparing various broadband technologies presented as submissions
to the Broadband Services Expert Group. A second 70 page
concentrated on applications, but with material on network technology,
BR-ISDN, Internet access, World Wide Web, social aspects of Pay TV and
the changed role of advertising when video is digitised. Spoke at
the BSEG's Melbourne "Have Your Say" seminar as a "technologically
- Prepared background material for the authors of
Papers for the Telecom "Planning for an Information Society
The papers were on people with low incomes (ACOSS) and technically
households and individuals (CTN).
- 1994 - 96 Joined
AUSTEL's Mobile Churn Committee as the
rep - for CTN. Prepared graphical and tabular comparison of the
and other aspects of various direct marketing, advertising and selling
approaches. In 1995 wrote the CTN position paper on the issues
committee was tackling. (The committee still supposedly exists, with
working towards another full meeting - but it has not met since
- Discussed with market
researchers the need for separate control
schemes for telemarketing and market research.
- Submission to
the Innovation Inquiry - conducted by the House
Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology.
Standards Australia Digital Video Services Task Group as
- Extensive submission regarding online content
and its privacy and free-speech implications) for the inquiry by the
Select Committee on Community Standards Relevant to the Supply of
Utilising Electronic Technologies.
- Worked with the consumer
and Privacy Commissioner's
were finalising the AUSTEL Privacy Advisory Committee's report on
- Met twice with Australian Broadcasting
Authority staff who were
their investigation of Internet content regulation. With some
Commissioner's staff, visited OzEmail - to learn about their system's
and the practicality of a "refused access list" scheme which was then
considered by the ABA.
- 1995 onwards. Active
participant on the Link mailing list -
forum for Australian communications, IT, privacy, Internet censorship
- 1995 - 97:
AUSTEL's Standards Advisory Committee (SAC) as
the consumer rep. for AFCO, which is know called Consumers' Federation
- Joined AUSTEL Technical Standards WG 2/1 as CTN
WG 2/1 is responsible for the analogue telephone customer equipment
TS 002, TS 004 and TS 006. In 1996 it also developed TS 030 for
Number Display customer equipment.
- 1995 Spoke at a CTN
seminar on consumer involvement in
setting and contributed to the CTN report on the subject - however I do
not support all its conclusions.
ABA staff again in Sydney and contributed
on their investigation of Internet content regulation.
for my web site, a tutorial on technical and policy
aspects of encryption,
digital signatures and Public Key Authentication Frameworks.
comments and work with the Electronic Frontiers of
Committee on the draft of Standards Australia's work on Public Key
- Commented on British Government proposals for
- Raising awareness amongst technical and
about the feasibility and desirability of Customer Activated Malicious
Call Trace to deter most malicious phone calls, and to ease the
of those that remain.
- Meeting with Gerard Walsh, special
adviser to the AG's
on Cryptography Policy.
- 1997 Public comments on
AUSTEL's Customer Billing Issues
on the ACCC's Distance Selling Code of Conduct draft and discussion
- 63 page submission to
Senate Select Committee on
Technology regarding appropriateness of various forms of regulation,
in particular self-regulation, for a range of privacy and
aspects of communications. This and the following item are
- Critique of the Federal Government's "Gatekeeper" report -
public-key frameworks for authentication, digital signatures and
- 1998 - 2005 Submissions to the ACCC
on the Australian
Direct Marketing Association's request for authorisation of a code of
conduct which covers telemarketing. http://www.firstpr.com.au/issues/tm/
- 2005 Submission to DCITA on their proposal for a Do
to regulate telemarketing. http://www.firstpr.com.au/issues/dnc/
Hardware and software projects
- 1968 - 72 Electronic work at home and at the school
leading to the development of a dance lighting system.
- 1977 -
80 Built Z-80 based computer from scratch, including
of monitor software - and then drum-sound, drum machine and
sequencing for music.
- 1980 - 83 Developed, published
and performed modifications
Casio digital polyphonic keyboards, primarily the M-10, MT-30 and
- 1982 onwards. Extra memory and sound
enhancements for the
TR-808 and TR-606 drum machine and the TB-303 Bassline.
onwards. MIDI retrofit for polyphonic synthesisers
such as Jupiter
8, Prophet V and later many other units, including
Purpose-built MIDI interfaces for various applications.
Commence Real World Interfaces full-time -
modifications to musical equipment, including extra memory and sound
- 1987 Modified software, sound improvement
and extra memory
for Yamaha DX7.
- 1989 - 93 Modified software, sound
improvement and battery
memory for Roland MT-32.
- 1990 - 91 Consulting on real-time
audio control software project
- 1992 - 95 Printed circuit board and
front panel design for
Ltd, who made 3D video computer perception systems.
- 1993 - 94
Version 1.x Devil Fish modifications for Roland TB-303.
Hardware and software design for two "Light Harp" MIDI
systems for Stuart Favilla for the International Computer Music
- 1995 - 96 Additional unit generators for
the Csound audio
language - which were later were incorporated into the "standard"
of Csound. Developed a binaural unit generator which enables the
simulation of a head and multiple moving sound sources.
onwards. Version 2.x Devil Fish modifications for
- 1997 onwards. 32 megabyte memory boards for
and S2800/S3000/CD3000/S3200. http://www.firstpr.com.au/rwi/smem/
- 2002 - 2004 Electronic highland bagpipes MIDI
for Mark Saul. http://www.marksaul.tv/InstrumentVideos.html
- 2005 MIDI In for Devil Fish, using PIC16F870.
- 2005 ongoing Further development work for Mark Saul.
My main First Principles site www.firstpr.com.au
I have two research projects which are not mentioned
In brief and in colour - a few photos
my wife, Tina, and
some more personal words.
- http://astroneu.com A
critique of the Big Bang Theory and of the "photon" theory - that
electromagnetic radiation is quantized. I propose a
redshift mechanism due to the interaction of short coherence length
electromagnetic radiation and the sparse plasmas such as stellar
coronae and the intergalactic medium.
Coming soon: new theories and observations regarding the common
neurological condition Restless Legs Syndrome (http://www.rls.org).