Jamie Balfour BSc

Welcome to my personal website!

Technology enthusiast

I am very interested in technology, particularly relating to computer science. I am most interested in web design and development.

My main hobby is programming. One of my most well known products from this is ZPE. I also am the sole creator of BalfBlog, BalfBar and BalfSlider.

A little bit about me

In 1997, when I was six years of age, I got my very first computer. I was always very interested in the ins and outs of it and dismantled it to see how it worked.

Years later, in 2016 I received my BSc (with honours) in Computer Science, obtaining a First class degree.

I'd like to welcome you to my website and hope you enjoy using it as much as I have enjoyed building it!

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Jamie Balfour BSc
Full stack developer

Personal Blog

As you will likely know, I've changed hosts for the first time since the debut of this site in April 2010. My new host is a bit more expensive than the standard package I got with my last host, but I get a premium of extra features with the new hosting package.

The new site host has so many things that the previous did not have that it would take forever to post about them all. The key features however have been outlined below:

  • PHP (yes, my previous host had this too)
  • MySQL (same story here) but I can have as many databases as I wanted
  • Ruby On Rails (something I want to learn) and Ruby Gems
  • Perl (again something I want to learn)
  • JSP (I'm not really that interested in anything related to that coffee bean)
  • SFTP (basically a much more secure FTP using SSH)
  • Control over Apache server handlers (excellent feature!)
  • SSL support
  • Multiple database accounts (higher security)
  • Direct FTP from PC or Mac without the need for an FTP client (my previous host offered this, but it was one way only, you could download a copy of files and have to upload them, this way it works like a drive on my computer, so I can update straight to the server and the operating system does the rest.)
  • HotLink Protection! (haha, you can't just HotLink my CSS anymore! And it works beautifully, just try to navigate to my CSS files such as my template).
  • A built in image manager to scale down images etc.
  • Quick Joomla, WordPress, phpBB creation (I may bring back phpBB in the future, by the way)
  • Better control over the subdomains on the site
  • Plus unlimited bandwidth
  • And unlimited storage vs 30GB at the same price with my previous host
  • 6 domains rather than one.

Now my blog is up and running on my new host and new database.

Here is where the initial problems occurred:

Firstly, I wanted to remove the prefix of my blog tables as they were going to be placed in their own database rather than just having prefixes. The way I did it was to move each table into the new database and rename each of them without the prefix. Then I downloaded that whole database (using phpMyAdmin, not WordPress). Next I changed wp-config.php such that it had no prefix and pointed to my new database. I dropped (deleted) the database and created a fresh new one with the same name. I then took the whole database SQL commands to Notepad (thank you Notepad!!!) and removed all instances of the old prefix. To finish off, I then used the Import feature to import all of the SQL commands into my new database. And that's all there is to it!

All my tables are now divided up into databases for each, therefore there is less of a security risk (I have a set of users, each user manages a certain database and has no access to others).

The other thing about this multiple database idea is the neatness and organisation. I'm really happy to have changed hosts and later I will post about what's really nice with this new hosting package.

Site accessibility

A lot of the original functionalities that once existed here have been removed.

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