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TV Whirl - Celebrating 20 Purple Years

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This site closed in March 2021 and is now a read-only archive
TE
tesandco Founding member
Happy New Year 2021 Special Feature

I was just about to mention the 1000 days thing on here actually, but it looks to have already been done - but yes, that's 1000 days of constant updates to the site now, which is a really nice way to start off 2021 as we approach our 20th birthday in March.

Something else to start off the New Year. We're back for the fourth year running with our yearly roundup of how as many broadcasters as possible covered the changeover from 2020 to 2021. As we leave a year not many are keen to remember, this has been a recurring theme that's cropped up a lot in announcements from the broadcasters. With a total of 74 clips online covering BBC One (all nations), BBC Two (all nations), BBC Four, BBC Scotland, BBC News, ITV, STV, ITV Be, ITV3, ITV4, S4C, Channel 4, More4, E4, Film4, 4Music, 5Star, Really, Quest Red, Food Network and Forces TV (who get our 'minnow punching above its weight' award for 2021). And yes I did record loads more channels than that, however not everyone did anything special to mark the occasion!

There's namechecks, touching thanks messages, and even messages from announcers on BBC Wales about how it would be their last time doing this. Hopefully it'll give an interesting insight into how many of the broadcasters covered an event in junctions and on channels that so often get missed.

Happy New Year everyone!

https://www.tvwhirl.co.uk/features/happy-new-year-2021/


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Last edited by tesandco on 2 January 2021 4:30pm - 4 times in total
TE
tesandco Founding member
A small note, but today I have pushed live an upgrade to the hosting platform. Mainly to increase the speed of video buffering, but also to hopefully cure an intermittent issue where videos would appear corrupt (resulting in glitches, sticking or jumping) but then be working fine again later.

This is all still highly experimental though, so if anyone does spot anything odd going on when using the site just let me know! (The bulk of the code handling for this was coded up after midnight this morning when I'm probably not at my sharpest Razz)
paul_hadley, Joe and Ghost gave kudos
PA
paul_hadley
I’m not sure if it’s just me but I can’t get any videos to play on iOS at all. They all state 00:00 and never play.
TE
tesandco Founding member
Seems to be something exclusive to iOS, but nope not just for you. I've pulled the update down for the time being until I get to the bottom of that though and will redeploy it later.

Thanks for the heads up!

Edit (11.40pm) - Back up, including now working properly in iOS/Safari.
Last edited by tesandco on 5 January 2021 11:41pm

76 days later

TE
tesandco Founding member
Celebrating 20 Purple Years - 22/3/2001 - 22/3/2021

TV Whirl has reached a big milestone today, as the site has hit its 20th birthday. It's hard to believe it was actually today all the way back in March 2001 that I uploaded the first scratty few pages for 'Terence's TV World' to Geocities, albeit a site which given zero promotion probably wasn't actually seen by anyone until the first redesign in Revision 2 in June 2001, when I also started to appear more on the various forums. With the site eventually tweaked to Terence's TV Whirl in August of that first year. Even in all those early incarnations the colour purple was used heavily, with the Harlow Solid Italic font for the logo introduced in the June, and both of these are features that have remained associated with the site in various forms since. Indeed that's why I'm colloquially referring to the birthday as '20 Purple Years'.

Undoubtedly things have changed on the net a lot since then, but then so many other things have remained the same. When the site was first launched on the net, there were many who questioned what was the point of it given there were already several well established sites already there like TV Ark, Jim Edwards TV World and more. Over the years the names involved have changed, with people now saying what's the point with the likes of Youtube or Twitter available, but the principle hasn't. I always just smile and nod to such comments, and the reason for this has been proven time and time again by looking at how many such sites we've been compared to that have shut up shop (either permanently, or for long term refurbs), or Youtube accounts that have vanished. Meanwhile I've carried on unabated with the same original premise of the site, with a lot of the original content still in place but only added to over time. And when I say for 20 years, save for the odd day due to unavoidable technical issues, I actually mean 20 years. In two decades of running the site I've never intentionally closed the site down even once, although I won't lie that it has often been tempting!

I've always made a big thing about the independence of the site too with our tagline 'Independent Since 2001' replacing our original 'A Whirling Mass of Television and Poor Web Design' when a lot of the swirls were dropped. We did actually have a small number of video contributions in the early days mostly from Iam Burn, Ashley Barratt and James Hadfield, some of whom are still around on the forum to this day, and who I am still always grateful to for that early help. However the majority of the 5000+ clips added in the last 20 years since have come entirely from myself from a still growing collection. Though many people have suggested it in the past, by choice I still have no team or partners at TV Whirl. While I do get along great with many other people in the pres community, and will add any factual corrections supplied, it does mean this site is all ultimately one person's work, and that's something different. And I'm one person who makes no effort to curry favour with television personalities, agencies or designers so while that may mean we won't get access to exclusive news or tidbits, it does mean you're guaranteed an honest and raw editorial when visiting. The untainted words of a single person on television presentation, which means there can be little to no holds barred on what is said. You get humour and sarcasm! You get criticism! That's something I'm fiercely proud of, and remains one of the site's biggest principles.

It's always hard to know exactly what the future holds for pres sites, but I do have a lot of plans in the works to continue the mission started 20 years ago. Some plans are further off, and some of which will be rolling out in the next few days as part of the birthday celebrations. For our birthday there's going to be a lot more to come this week on the website, which has today taken on a few elements of design from the years, on our Twitter account over at @TesTVWhirl (with the hashtag #20PurpleYears) and right here on TV Forum, with whom we've shared a common birthday for the past 20 years and are still sad to know this is the last year we'll both be celebrating online together. So thank you to all who've supported us and continue to support us over the years, and join us as we celebrate 20 Purple Years!

https://www.tvwhirl.co.uk

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Last edited by tesandco on 22 March 2021 8:18am - 6 times in total
TE
tesandco Founding member
Celebrating 20 Purple Years - 22/3/2001 - 22/3/2021

The first of our little birthday additions has now been added on for this celebration. Yes, I now present to you all the original Revision 1 of the site, from how it appeared in its first Geocities incarnation from March-June 2001. All the original pages and images are there. And even a lot of the original postage-stamp sized RealMedia videos have been included, with the exception of most of the big US TV show clips as... well... it's not 2001 any more.

For the true experience of the era, you ideally need to have the Bradley Hand ITC font installed (which used to come with Windows 98 and Office of the era), and some version of Real Player or Real Player Alternative.

Time to wallow in some early internet nostalgia as we celebrate #20PurpleYears.

https://www.tvwhirl.co.uk/revision1/
PA
paul_hadley
You’ve come a long way. Happy birthday.
AB
ashley b Founding member
Wow - revision 1. I don’t think I have much left of the early versions of my sites (perhaps on some ancient pc hard drive somewhere there’ll be some of the original graphics, but no webpages). Happy 20th, here’s to another 20!

(Factual correction - Barr e tt Wink )
PA
paul_hadley
Web Archive does a pretty good job too - https://web.archive.org/web/20020721075653/http://www.tvwhirl.co.uk/
TE
tesandco Founding member
Thanks for all the kind words everyone (and I was nearly right with the name Ash, given I only had a 'B' and my memory to go off Razz).

I've tended to find Web Archive a good idea in theory, but it is so slow, buggy and misses so much out - invariably always the pages you want. Though this does lead me on nicely to my last birthday update for today.

The TV Whirl Forum - #20PurpleYears

There's been an awful lot of talk around pres forums lately, what with changes coming at the end of the month here and over at Digitalspy. But how many of you were members of TV Whirl Forum? Running from 2002 through to around 2007, during an era where pretty much every site had one, it was never a big place. Well after much hacking around this evening (you try getting 17 year old PHP scripts to run on modern day PHP and MySQL), I can finally present to you an almost complete post archive of our old purple television forum (just note this is a read only archive only really covering the main posts, profiles and anything functional wont actually work). Relive the posts of Digifiend's Network and other pres sites long since gone, as well as finding a never ending stream of people requesting things they never ended up getting. Were you a member at the time (even if you don't recall signing up now), and did you even start a thread there you've long since forgot all about? Well now's your chance to find out!

https://www.tvwhirl.co.uk/forum/forum/index.html
Last edited by tesandco on 22 March 2021 11:10pm
VM
VMPhil
Celebrating 20 Purple Years - 22/3/2001 - 22/3/2021

The first of our little birthday additions has now been added on for this celebration. Yes, I now present to you all the original Revision 1 of the site, from how it appeared in its first Geocities incarnation from March-June 2001. All the original pages and images are there. And even a lot of the original postage-stamp sized RealMedia videos have been included, with the exception of most of the big US TV show clips as... well... it's not 2001 any more.

What do you mean it's not 2001 anymore? It's all looking good on my end.

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(OK I cheated and downloaded a local copy because old web browsers don't like modern HTTPS encryption)

Seriously though, this brings back a lot of fond memories of making websites like this myself. I borrowed a book from the library and learned to hand code HTML. They weren't pretty but making them was a lot of fun! Sites like that certainly had a lot of personality even if they weren't going to win awards.

It's so great that TV Whirl is still going as an independent site, long may it last. I have always appreciated the little asides in the commentary on sites like this (shame on TV Ark for hiding that in their latest design).
JA
james-2001
Thanks for all the kind words everyone (and I was nearly right with the name Ash, given I only had a 'B' and my memory to go off Razz).

I've tended to find Web Archive a good idea in theory, but it is so slow, buggy and misses so much out - invariably always the pages you want. Though this does lead me on nicely to my last birthday update for today.

The TV Whirl Forum - #20PurpleYears

There's been an awful lot of talk around pres forums lately, what with changes coming at the end of the month here and over at Digitalspy. But how many of you were members of TV Whirl Forum? Running from 2002 through to around 2007, during an era where pretty much every site had one, it was never a big place. Well after much hacking around this evening (you try getting 17 year old PHP scripts to run on modern day PHP and MySQL), I can finally present to you an almost complete post archive of our old purple television forum (just note this is a read only archive only really covering the main posts, profiles and anything functional wont actually work). Relive the posts of Digifiend's Network and other pres sites long since gone, as well as finding a never ending stream of people requesting things they never ended up getting. Were you a member at the time (even if you don't recall signing up now), and did you even start a thread there you've long since forgot all about? Well now's your chance to find out!

https://www.tvwhirl.co.uk/forum/forum/index.html


I'm sure there's some posts on that forum that point towards what you, ahem, know about me now...

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