Life Of Navin

Random Musings, Random Bullshit.



On the evening of 26th Nov 09, after getting back home from first sem paper of the third sem, my twitter timeline showed an unusual tweet by @OldMonkMGM, a bong dude, and it was kinda fishy!!

Hmm...This dude has a weird sense of humour I thought, and casually proceeded to the site mentioned in the tweet for my daily dose of torrenting. And BOOOOOOM!! My world came crashing down upon me like a stack of cards squished by a mammoth!! Mininova was NOT Mininova anymore!! And gleaming away in all its HTML yellowish ribbony glory was this notice:

And I knew it at once..... Mininova had just died! The monk was right after all! You may want to read the original Mininova blog post before proceeding.

Now you're probably wondering why I'm so sad over the death of a site, that too of a P2P site, which we all know are sprouting like mushrooms all over the place!!

Well, here's the story (Forgive me if I get a little senti here!):

My tweets after I read about the demise of Mininova!

I've been living an active online life for over 8 years now!! It all started with a modest dialup internet connection, which when connecting to the interwebz sounded like a cat getting run over by a truck, and using which, downloading anything over 8-10 MB was considered simply impossible (or pathetically slow)!!

And then came the age of broadband... and I instantly realised what was at stake!! Every single file I had deemed unobtainable would soon be, well....... obtainable!! And with gleaming eyes and a hunger for information, I waited for the friendly neigbourhood BSNL-walla to call up and offer a broadband scheme. But that was not to be!!

Being in the middle-of-nowhere village that I am, acquiring a broadband connection was almost as difficult to get as getting John Abraham to show some facial expressions!! And after over a year of gadha-mazoori (mostly by my dad and a neighbourhood colleague of his), I secured a broadband connection in October 2008!!

Every broadband enabled friend I had had told me about torrenting, and I remembered my experiments with torrenting using a dialup modem (A movie that showed 1 year 2 weeks left for download to complete for nearly 24 hrs!!), and so I downloaded the eternally trustworthy uTorrent and began looking for torrent sites..... and the first, and by far the best one I found, had a name that instantly was etched upon my heart, MiniNova.

The site, which was founded in early 2005 by five Dutch students, instantly opened up a new world to me.... a world where sharing is caring, where seeding is next to godliness, where names like aXXo, nHaNc3, FxG and FxM are considered to be gods!! Where Robin Hood seemed to be everone's favourite story!! Living a life behind the mask of mysterious usernames, torrenters stole from the rich, and supplied to the poor, all without any compensation other than a "A/V 10/10" rating which implied the "rip" was perfect!! Despite initial doubts on the ethicality of P2P, I torrented, and boy, I torrented like hell was on fire!

formattingArtist's impression of aXXo!!

Movies that were not/yet to be released in India, Music by obscure yet amazing bands, E-books on everything ranging from Amateur photography to Zucchini modeling, Comics, Graphic novels, Games, High-res images of Jupiter, declassified FBI files, everything you could think of was right there on mininova!! And it was not just me.... a whole generation of people took to torrenting through mininova... so many infact, that Mininova ranked 9 on Google’s list of most queried terms in 2006. It recently even crossed the 10 billion torrent downloads mark!!

I loved Mininova so much that even after discovering sites like, which showed torrent statistics from various torrent sites, I'd still religiously log on to Mininova almost everyday!! Mininova was the only torrent site on which I actually registered as a user, just so that I could be part of the community! Infact when ThePirateBay, another popular torrent site, let go of its tracker (again for legal reasons), I didn't care, since I knew I still had Mininova. When aXXo stopped putting up files, I didn't care, since I knew Mininova would show me equally good quality files. And now it's all gone!!

I'll miss you Mininova, your bright home page, your lovely tabbed interface, your autocomplete enabled search box, the brilliant comments you gathered!!

Actual comments for an episode of The Office

But most of all, I'll remember you as a source of endless hours of entertainment, and as a rebel against the system/rage against the machine kinda initiative that you were!!

You have nearly always answered my pleas for information and entertainment, and nearly all of my ~350 Gig torrented material directly or indirectly branches from you!

I hope you have a great time in website heaven... you're definitely in my Website Hall of Fame!! With the death of Mininova, comes the death of its active community(and my username: madmax108). Farewell homies!! God bless the 5 guys who came up with the concept of Mininova, and God bless every commenter on the site who'se valuable info has helped my pick out some of the best stuff I'll ever lay my hands upon!!

Apparently, Mininova became popular after its predecessor, named Suprnova, closed down (you guessed it right..... for legal reasons). Now that gets me thinking, will we see a Micronova soon?

P.S. I'm seriously thinking of staging my own Pirated Film Festival in memory of Mininova (and after reading the first comment in this post)... let's see how that plan works out!!

10 Alternatives to Mininova (via TorrentFreak )
Linux+Watchmen=Vacation Masti

10 movies I simply MUST watch after the sems!!

It's that time of the year again!! After 4 odd months of attending bunking classes in college, the semester exams appear out of the blue and every student runs helter skelter trying to get his hands on as many notes as he can!! (even though in 90% of cases, he doesn't read even 50% of the collected notes!)

For me however, exams always mark a time of acute lack of concentration, and it seems as if every small thing distracts me (see this). Being the movie fanatic that I am, the last week or so has been like hell for me, since loads of people have been recommending awesome movies to me, and I've been restraining myself from watching (or torrenting) any of them!!

So here is a list of 10 movies (actually a few more!!) I'm dying to watch once the sems are done:

10) The Punisher and Punisher:War Zone
The movie The Punisher and its sequel, are said to be the best in the leave-your-brains-at-home whacked out action Boys only testosterone-overdosed movie genre!! Enuf said!!Definitely on my list!!

9) The Maiden Heist
I'm a huge fan of Morgan Freeman's acting, be it in comedy or serious roles (kinda like the Amitabh Bachchan of Hollywood), and this movie is on my list simply because of his presence in it!!

8) Goodbye Bafana
The true story of how Nelson Mandela, a man I regard as one of the greatest icons of all time, changed the life of his prison guard!!

7) Absurdistan
One of the few comedy movies on my list, Absurdistan is a story about women in a village who go on a strike of the worst possible kind- A Sex Strike, to ensure their demands are met.

6) Looking for Eric and The Football Factory
Two movies based in soccer, though in a thoda sa hatke manner. the first movie deals with Eric Cantona (aka God!!) giving a fan some life coaching while the second deals with Soccer
Hooliganism..... What more can I ask for?

5) Schindler's List, Munich and Saving Private Ryan
Three movies by Steven Speilberg, two of which I've watched when I was much younger (when they didn't make much sense to me back then), rated very highly by friends and critics alike.

4) The Flying Scotsman
This one was recommended to me by one of my bestest-est friends Avantika. The movie showcases the true story of Graeme Obree, the Champion cyclist who built his bicycle from old bits of washing machines who won his championship only to have his title stripped from him and his mental health problems which he has suffered since.[sorry about the IMDB synopsis]

3) Catch Me If You Can
I remember watching part of this movie, which is based on the true story of Frank Abagnale Jr., the most famous conman in the world, but I want to watch the whole movie now!!

2) Enemy at the Gates and The Mongol
Both these movies, which are fictional, but based on true stories, one on the extreme sniper Vassili Zaitsev and the other on another great leader, Genghis Khan!!

1) The True Story of Che Guevara, Che (Part one and Part two),Motorcycle Diaries
Three movies on the life of the man, the leader, the revolutionary, Ernesto Che Guevara, who, despite what anyone may say, is, in my humble opinion, the greatest leader who ever lived!!I really want to know more about the man who single handedly brought down governments!!

I don't care if I fall as long as someone else picks up my gun and keeps on shooting. - Che Guevara
0) Harishchandrachi Factory
Yeah, I know this is number 11, but what can I say.... I'm a movie fanatic!! This movie, India's official nomination to the Oscars this year, is about the the efforts that Dadasaheb Phalke had to take during the making of India's first feature length film Raja Harishchandra, and has been recommended to me by loads of my marathi speaking friends, and I simply can't wait to watch this movie (with subtitles of course, since "mala marathi maaet naai").

Ok..... that's all. In all, I've named 19 films in my 10 films list!! :) :)

And I'm sure there will be many ore that'll get added to the list by the time the sem exams are done!!

Think you know a movie I may like? Recommend it to me in the comments!! cheers!!

S4TD -Sorry For The Delay!!

Many will call me an adventurer - and that I am, only one of a different sort: one of those who risks his skin to prove his platitudes. --Che Guevara
I know I haven't been able to update LoN as frequently as I'd have liked to (or as you'd have liked as your mails and comments have mentioned), especially over the last 3-4 months and this has led to quite a few rumours popping up about LoN (and me). So let's clarify em: Firstly, I'm NOT dead, or sick, or sick in the other sense.... okay, now that we're on a roll, let's move on shall we?

Here's What I Have NOT done over the last few months:

1) Gone back to my home planet
2) Decided to quit blogging.
3) Become a CS Pro and started practising for the World Cyber Games (WCG)
4) Relocated to the Himalayas, and broken all ties with the outer world in my aim to become a philosophical master of mankind!!
5) Become a perfectionist to the extent that I don't feel any of my posts are worth posting (Did someone just say Aamir Khan?).
6) Started studying for college!! (Most important!!)

But yeah, I have been amazingly busy (with a capital B) over the last few months. This semester (3rd out of 8) has introduced me to a whole new world that I'd never imagined, even in my wildest dreams. And hell yeah, I've been enjoying every moment of it!!

Instructions I live by!! :)

And while I'll leave more details of what I've been up to through the course of my 3rd semester for my End-sem "Stuff I Did This Semester!!" post, here's just a sneak peak of what I've been up to:

1) Gotten involved in college affairs as the second year representative of CURSOR, the Comp Sciences student body of my college that I'd briefly mentioned here.
2) Attended a workshop on the Python Programming Language organised by FOSSEE
3) Attended a workshop on Network Security organised by NULL
4) Co-founded a youth magazine, Straight From The Moron (SFTM) and was chosen as editor. Here is the latest issue (Issue 4)
5) Written papers and prepared abstracts for 2 national level conferences, the more notable amongst the two being NullCon 09.
6) Designed half a dozen websites, including two for start-up companies!! Plus one crazy whackjob site for my class which'll go live once the exams are done!!
7) Twitter-ed, Facebook-ed,Orkut-ed,LinkedIn-ed ,Networked.
8) Played CS like crazy, but still at a level which makes the G-force guinea pigs look like supermen!!
9) Participated in a street very mixed responses:

The show was great, and the showstealer was Navin Pai, one of the finest acting talents I've seen in a long time --Critic 1

Navin is the kind of actor you go to when a block of wood is unavailable! --Critic 2

10) Joined the College robotics club and the College photography club (and won the inaugral photography competition)!!
11) Participated in a inter branch intra college event, Tandav, and worked on everything, right from organisation to participation to jubilation!! (we came second in the cultural segment and won the sports segment!!)
12) Bunked loads of lectures so that I could do points 1 to 11

My semester exams start at the end of November, and go on till the 20th of again, there'll be a break from posting at LoN!! :(

But kya karein, I've got a lot to study, especially because of point 12 mentioned above!!

So cya guys in the final weeks of the year!!

Related Posts:
Stuff I did this semester (Sem 1)
This Semester... (Sem 2)


Finally after all these years, here's to the beginning of what was there, what is there and hopefully what will remain!! So here are my thoughts & words -Online!!

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