Like many others we miss Merlins Portal. The site was more than just a place to find NZB files. It was a social community where users would go to chat, listen to music, play games and of course grab the latest NZBs. What happened? We’ve read lots of theories around the Web over the last few weeks. The server and/or database went belly up. The site was hacked. The Portal was forced to shut down. Merlin took the donation money and ran for the hills. So which is it? Since none of us personally know Merlin we can’t say for sure. Instead we have done our best to pull together the timeline and provide links to related discussions. The end of our post includes Merlins farewell letter.
For those seeking alternatives to Merlins visit the Usenet search section of NGR.
The latest and perhaps last chapter of Merlins-Portal.net started around the first of May. Discussions started on DSL Reports on May 4th with users asking why Merlins was down. The site was to be down a couple hours for optimization. After some downtime and MySQL errors site functionality was restored but with a hitch. Merlins Portal came up without the last three months or so of NZB’s. Not an optimal result but at least the site was up right? Not for long.
After the data loss users started in with the normal questions. What happened to the lost data? Was there no backup performed? We still don’t have that answer but it appears the issue went beyond just data loss as the site was never the same again.
Merlins-Protal.net had issues and outages for the following few weeks until eventually the dreaded “Server not found” message was all that was left. Users tried to email Merlin at both his portal and gmail addresses but both were dead. What happened to Merlins Portal and to Merlin in those few short weeks?
This is where the farewell letter from Merlin comes in. First let us say that we have no way to confirm its validity. A number of NGR visitors directed us to the letter but since we don’t know Merlin we can’t validate the post.
Here is the Merlins farewell message posted on Cable Forum July 4th:
For The Record
Thought as always i would break the mold like most owners of a site that just vanish.
Most important thing and first thing is to say thankyou to all merlins portal staff past and present, mostly past as without them and there hard work in the early days merlins portal would not have became the site it did, the present site staff at time off going for there unselfish and dedicated work.
As zing mentioned above most of the reasons but the final nail was indeed the constant abuse daily for a service we all worked hard at to make it work, database was the major issue in the end and it finally went tits up after throwing massive amount of my own money, countless sleepless nights the decision had to be made to close it. This decison did not come lighlty and after much sole searching and a few chats with trusted friends and staff i let what has my baby go.
I put my life and sole and in the end almost put my marriage of 24 years at risk as did others into merlins portal for almost 5 years and it was time to move on.
In the final days i did transfer money from my own bank account and returned 100+ donations going back as far as six weeks but with all the expenses involved trying to save the site even i have limited personal funds but as a person i felt it was my duty to the members to return as many as i financially could, if i missed you i am sorry but the nature of how the site was financed to keep it free for the mass.
Merlins Portal was a unique site with some unique and fantastic members and i met some fantastic friends whom i will be catching up with sooner or later.
Yes i took 2/3 weeks out to clear my head as it hurt to close the site i loved so much and anyone that actually knew me would not deny me that.
Will i be opening a NZB site again? NO but i may join the new new site as a member and make myself known to Terminator, pnp spreader and co and may help and assist them if required or indeed if they want my help.
I hope this puts to bed the rumours i ran with the money (i wish) in fact the site owed me in the end and 1 month on i am still paying bills for the site but thankfully almost all taken care off now.
Owning and running merlins portal was a blast and will forever hold a special place with myself as will the majority of good members.
Assuming the message is legit we wish Merlin the best and hope he can enjoy life to its fullest. The NZB site referenced in his letter appears to be http://jfen.co.uk/. For more information on search sites or Usenet in general visit Newsgroup Reviews.