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Jamie BalfourA bit about me

This page is all about me, including my favourite things as well as my background. If you are genuinely interested in this stuff, please feel free to read on. If you are interested in me professionally, take a look at Jambour Digital.

Short bio

My full name is Jamie Stark-Bonnar Boris Binary Balfour (the italic text is stuff I added in after I was born). I am also known by my high school nickname Binary Balfour.

I am a Scottish computer scientist who loves all technology with a particular love for software programming, web design and web development as well as writing about technology. I took a major interest in computers when I turned 7 years of age and I was mainly interested in the way that computers worked and connected to each other through networks and ports until I turned 14 and became interested in actually writing programs myself. I also share my love with education and really love teaching people the stuff I know.

I currently hold a Bachelor of Science (BSc) with a First Class Honours from Heriot-Watt University and a Professional Graduate Diploma of Education (PGDE) from the University of Strathclyde.

My main hobbies include reading and writing about technology and electronics, and computer science (hardware, programming, user experience and web design/development particularly), [all of which also happens to be my job], going out with my friends, playing video games, video editing and exploring the country (I particularly love rivers and mountains of Scotland and the places surrounding them). I also cycle and I love to do archery in my spare time (you don't want to come across me with a bow and arrow!).

Me as a kid

Me as a child

My history

You can view a timeline of my life by clicking on the button below:

Inspirational people

This is a list of people who have inspired me or I just find inspiring.

  • Alan Turing
  • Andy Murray
  • Bill Gates
  • Charles Kennedy
  • David Lloyd George
  • Novak Djokovic
  • Robert Downey Jr.
  • Robin Williams
  • Roger Federer
  • Steve Jobs
  • Baroness Shirley Williams
  • Sir Tom Farmer
  • Elon Musk

I also always say that several of my primary and high school teachers as well as several (most) of my university lecturers were inspirational people in my life.

Charles Kennedy, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Robert Downey Jr. and Elon Musk are perhaps the most inspirational people in my life, and you can find out why these people are here.

Favourites

Music

I love rock music but I also love a bit of dance music.

My favourite bands are Oasis, Kasabian, Muse and Pendulum.

I also love music from several other artists including Robbie Williams, Take That Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey and much more.

Gaming

I like to remember that the first game I ever played was an MS-DOS game called Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, which has now evolved into Starcraft II and World Of Warcraft. Since first playing Warcraft, Blizzard has always made my favourite games - Warcraft of some kind has always been there.

My favourite game genre is strategy. The list of favourite games can be found in my articles, but here are the top 10.

The list is generated from the number of hours I estimate I have played of the game mixed with what I think should go where.

  1. Warcraft III (and The Frozen Throne)
  2. Age of Empires II (and the Definitive Edition)
  3. Command and Conquer 95 (and DTA)
  4. Diablo II
  5. The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess
  6. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
  7. Pokémon Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire (remakes of my favourite Pokémon games)
  8. Metroid Prime
  9. Super Smash Bros Ultimate
  10. Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2

These games are only in alphabetical order (sorted using my list sorter from my old website).

  • 007: Nightfire
  • Age of Empires III
  • Banjo-Kazooie
  • Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Command and Conquer 3
  • Croc 2
  • Croc Legend of the Gobbos
  • Diablo III
  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles
  • Forza 4
  • F-Zero GX
  • Goldeneye N64
  • Goldeneye Rogue Agent
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Halo 3
  • Halo Reach
  • Mario 64
  • Mario Kart
  • Mario Party 4
  • Mario Party 5
  • Metroid Prime: Echoes
  • Minecraft
  • Pikmin
  • Pikmin 2
  • Pikmin 3
  • Pokemon Colosseum
  • Pokemon Gold and Silver
  • Pokemon Red and Blue
  • Soul Calibur II
  • Spyro The Dragon
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars
  • Starcraft II
  • Starfox Adventures
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Super Mario Sunshine
  • Super Smash Bros Melee
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  • The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
  • Warcraft Orcs and Humans

Films and TV

Everyone knows that I am a James Bond series fan. I love them from start to finish, Sean Connery to Daniel Craig. I am also a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Other films I like include:

  • Die Hard
  • Executive Decision
  • Enemy of the State
  • Harry Potter
  • Hot Fuzz
  • Insidious
  • James Bond
  • Jaws
  • Jurassic Park & Jurassic World
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe films
  • Men In Black
  • Patriot Games
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Resident Evil
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • Stars Wars
  • The Descent
  • The Eagle Has Landed
  • The Fast and the Furious
  • The Mist
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • Under Siege
  • Wanted
  • Where Eagles Dare
  • Zoolander

My favourite actor, who appears in at least four of the films I love, is Christopher Lee (The Man With The Golden Gun, The Hobbit, Star Wars, Sleepy Hollow). My second favourite actor of all time is the amazing Robert Downey Jr. I don't need to even eloborate on this. I also love Christopher Waltz (Django Unchained, Spectre to name a few). My other favourite actors are the amazing Helena Bonham Carter (Harry Potter and Alice In Wonderland) as well as the amazing Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean, Alice in Wonderland). A list of my favourite actors and actresses can be found here on IMDB.

In terms of TV shows/series, Spooks is number one. It is followed very closely by Jed Mercurio's Line of Duty and Bodyguard and then by The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and Hustle as being my favourites.

Places

I am a huge fan of Perthshire - Scotland's Heartland. I love the mountains ranging from Schiehallion to Ben Lawers and the Glenshee mountain range, as well as the hundreds of lochs in Perthshire ranging from the first loch I ever stayed on; Loch Earn to Loch Tay to Loch Rannoch and Loch Tummel and the rivers such as the Tay, Tummel, Garry, Isla, Earn and more, all of which make Perthshire the perfect place to be.

One of my favourite things about the world is rivers, I am quite interested in the confluences of rivers (point where two or more rivers become one), as I find these to be the most attractive parts of the countryside in the UK.

My favourite places in the UK, and places I'd be happy to live are:

  • Aberfeldy
  • Berwick-Upon-Tweed
  • Blairgowrie
  • Braemar
  • Callander
  • Crainlarich
  • Dunkeld
  • Haddington
  • Kenmore
  • Killin
  • Kinlochleven
  • Kinloch Rannoch
  • Lindisfarne
  • Oban
  • Pitlochry

Projects I have developed

Over the years I have created many tools, developed many pieces of software and reinvented others. The following is a list of some of my projects:

  • A web browser - Cobweb Internet Browser (no longer maintained)
  • A graphics program - Painter Pro (no longer maintained)
  • A word processor - Wonderword
  • My website and DragonScript IV - jamiebalfour.scot
  • A gallery system - BalfGallery
  • A flexible website menu bar - BalfBar
  • An easy to customise slideshow system for websites - BalfSlider
  • A functional website commenting system - BalfComment
  • A lightweight keybinding system for the web - BalfKeyBind
  • A flexible dropdown tool for the web - BalfPick
  • A Microsoft Office style ribbon for the web - BalfRibbon
  • A content management system with support for plugins - DASH
  • A fully fledged programming language - YASS
  • A language parser - the Zenith Parsing Engine
  • A compiler, interpreter and runtime - ZPE Programming Environment
  • A front-end framework for building responsive websites quickly - Girder
  • An SQA Haggis parser for ZPE - my SQA Haggis interpreter
  • A web portal and request management system - the Jambour Portal
  • An analytics engine for the web - BalfAnalytics/Jambour Analytics Engine
  • An event management application - EventPanel Pro
  • A webserver - Velocity Web Server
  • A teaching-based slideshow system - BalfPlayer
  • A JavaScript syntax highlighter - reHighlight

Technologies I know

I am currently skilled with the following technologies:

C++
C#
Java
Python
VB.NET
ZPE/YASS
HTML 5
CSS 3
JavaScript
PHP
MySQL
D3 JS
jQuery
React
Apache
Linux
Docker
Git

In total, I know 8 programming languages (not including HTML, CSS and SQL) really well currently.

My website

Whilst you can read more about this website and it's technical information here, I thought I might explain it very quickly here. I built this site with the intention of gaining an online presence and nothing more.

As support has kept growing this website has gained much more success and potential and has expanded to have more than that. I can finally share the information I wanted to on the web without being restricted by some platform.

I am very proud of my website, which I have built from the ground up, and would encourage you to leave feedback.

Interesting projects

The following are a few of the projects that interest me:

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