An undertaking like this, which has spanned some seven years and two continents, inevitably involves many people.  While it would be impossible to mention them all individually, it is a pleasant task to pay tribute to those who have had a particularly large part to play.

First, and foremost, I would like to thank Alan Chalmers, firstly for agreeing to supervise this project and then putting up with the challenges of supervision over a great distance, under sometimes trying circumstances.  Thanks to him the "story" has finally been told!

To my faithful team of proof readers, Alan Chalmers, Peter Clayton, Theo Groeneveld, Andrew Turpin and Madeleine Wright, thank you all for doing an excellent job, under a great deal of time pressure.  I hope that I have not undermined your good work too drastically!

The work commenced during a period of sabbatical leave, spent at the University of Bristol.  I wish to thank the staff and students of the Department of Computer Science, who provided a stimulating environment for my year with them.  I must particularly mention Mike Rogers, for his help in making both the sabbatical year and the PhD study possible.

My "family" in the Department of Computer Science at Rhodes University, who are the best group of people I think I could ever hope to work with, have been an incredible source of encouragement and support.  While it is invidious to single out any individuals, I feel I must particularly thank Peter Wentworth for being a constant source of good ideas and inspiration.  I would also like to thank Jody Balarin and Billy Morgan for cheerfully helping with my requests for technical support and access to equipment.  Thanks to Shaun Bangay for the background information about ray-tracing.  Most of all I would like to thank Peter Clayton for his concern, assistance, guidance and support - it is a privilege to work with you Pete.

Pareen Daya did a great job of implementing the full support for the multimedia extensions in eLinda, under my supervision.  He also produced the results for this section at very short notice, for which I am very grateful.

During the years that this project has taken I have been very lucky to be surrounded by a caring and supportive group of friends.  While more grateful to all of them than they will ever know, I must again make a few "special mentions".  To Kevin and Adele: thank you for putting up with me during the final stretch, and keeping the daily distractions and diversions at bay.  Thank you to my friends in the River of Life Christian Assembly, who so gladly supported me, prayed for me, and understood and filled in for me when I wasn't around.

And most of all, Theo, Brenda, Caleb and Tiger, without whom I don't think this project would ever have been completed, you cannot know just how grateful I am to you.  Thank you for providing an incredibly productive work environment in my "home from home" in Pretoria; thank you for your encouragement and your prayers, and for "cracking the whip" (in the nicest possible way!).

Last, but definitely not least, my thanks go to my family who for years have supported and encouraged me in everything that I have done.  Thank you for giving me the start in life, the opportunities and the confidence to achieve what I have done.


I am very grateful to the following sources of funding for this work:

To him who is able to keep me from falling and present me before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy - to the only wise God my saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, now and for evermore! Amen.
Adapted from Jude 24-25.