AboutUpdate for 2020
I now have the means once again to host this from home. Rather than host it from an overpowered deskop PC that produces tons of heat, I am now hosting it from a raspberry pi on a DMZ. I have big plans, but I am still just as lazy as ever, so we will see if I actually get it done. I actually cancelled this domain back in 2016, but it was still available to purchase yesterday, so I decided to buy it again. Various iterations of this site have been hosted from VPS, which never felt right. Hosting at home is the only way to go. Right now, none of the links work, but I will get that taken care of soon.Origins and History
Long ago, when I was in school, we had a class where we repaired old 486 PCs. Most of them had locks on them, some of which were locked so they wouldn't boot. My teacher did not know that you could merely unplug the lock from the motherboard and get it to boot, so he had us throw some of them into a dumpster. Me and a friend of mine took a few of them home and got them running in no time. I noticed that when booting, the BIOS showed a message that said "checking NVRAM". At the time, I didn't know what NVRAM was, but I noticed that if you turn it backwards it spells MARVN. I had a decent home PC that I had built, so I renamed it from Phat32 to MARVN. I later hosted my own website from this computer on a static IP that only cost me $4 a month from my ISP. Since it was hosted on MARVN, I called it MARVNGRAD. It was really just a testbed for my ideas, a way to test out the things I was learning about webdesign, namely PHP and MySQL. I had a few sites prior to this that were hosted on the now defunct freewebs.com and tripod.com, but they were static HTML pages. I have them mirrored here under the Classic section, under the link titled Memory Lane (they are atrocious). After starting Marvngrad, I noticed that a lot of times when I would do research for school projects on school computers, totally legitimate sites would sometimes be blocked by the web filter. To get around this, I setup a CGIproxy on my site at home. I told all my friends about it and word got around quick. When the webfilter blocked my site, I told everyone to use my IP address. When they blocked that, I gave everyone my ISP Hostname. At that point, the principal called me into his office and told me that I had circumvented over $20,000 worth of network hardware and he revoked my transfer. I then had to go to school closer to my home, and I ended up taking the site offline for a while. At it's peak, my forums had quite a few visitors and a healthy debate section, which I eventually lost after switching my LAMP server (which ran on slackware linux) over to WAMP on windows XP, exposing me to a successful hack attempt that emptied my SQL databases.A New Direction
This site is now a shell of its former self, and has gone through several incarnations and iterations, several different interfaces and themes. Now instead of being powered by PHP / MySQL, it run on Python and Web.py (RIP Aaron Swartz). At this point there really isn't a purpose for the site, but I have some ideas for a new direction. If you look at the articles I posted back in 2004-2006 on classic marvngrad, I was a misguided idealistic youth with a big mouth. A lot has changed in my life since then, and my views and opinions are quite different now. I have made a transition from a conspiracy zealot with a half-baked worldview to a rational skeptic. I now plan to use this site to host articles relating to skepticism and atheism, as well as an open-ended community driven content section where members can post poetry, music, tabs, images, articles, etc. I also plan to revive the proxy and host my home media drive again. It will most probably remain a small close-knit community.Why Should You Care?
You shouldn't. This is just a dark corner of the internet. Go back into the daylight and leave us. *hiss*