Based in British Columbia, Canada, Harwood Studios Inc. (HSI) is the company behind murderbox with Charles Harwood and Callen Magier as its owners and business partners. At the core of what makes the partnership so effective is that Charles and Callen are united in a "no compromise" commitment to their work and both respect and adhere to the principle of form following function.
HSI began creating custom, high-end liquid cooled PCs in 2007. These visually striking machines with their original concepts and methods; and unprecedented attention to detail, earned HSI a reputation as a premiere boutique custom builder. In 2008, the murderMod line was launched, selling hundreds of custom, premium quality products directly to Customers in Countries around the world.
While HSI is essentially a company of two, there are other talented and creative individuals who generously contribute their time and expertise to murderbox. Among them is Janik Merz who produces the PCBs featured in the MKII. Janik is a Master PCB maker and we're very fortunate to have him working on the MKII project.
James Gurney manages the website backend work. A longtime friend to Charles, James is an expert in coding and can always be counted on to keep everything online running smoothly. Another good friend, Shaun Grady has been designing and producing the murderbox website since 2008. With his extensive experience and creativity, Shaun always delivers a website that's clean, clear and compelling.
Martin Simpson, the owner of Psychosleeve.com was the natural choice for all the custom sleeving and wiring for the MKII. Martin has amazing ability and produces the best custom sleeving in the world and we're grateful for having him involved.
Daniel Bryant, Sharon DeHayes, and Benny Adach are long time contributors who have generously given their time and efforts to murderbox over the years. These three individuals bring their unique skills and talents to murderbox and we're deeply grateful and very fortunate to have them involved.
To answer this question, we should start with the word as we're often asked, "why the name murderbox?" and we answer by saying: "murderbox represents by name, something that destroys conventions and exists, explicit in its intent." So, what is a murderbox? A murderbox is an ultra-refined, premium quality PC based creation; a consummate product that exists as the result of a "no compromise" conviction to design and execution.
In the past there was murderbox and murderMod; murderbox was the name given to our complete, custom PC builds and murderMod represented our line of high quality custom case parts. In 2010, we decided to scale back on complete, custom builds and focus our efforts on offering unique and innovative premium quality PC cases and add-on case parts.
To keep things clear, all our products now carry the murderbox name and we no longer use the name murderMod. The reasons we chose to scale back on offering complete custom builds has to do with the excessive cost in shipping and the inherent logistical challenges in providing support for such intricate and complex creations. We decided that the best strategy is to focus on creating and offering products that we can ship around the world at a reasonable price and effectively support. Our plan moving forward is to create and offer premium products that give our Customers the platform needed to build their own beautifully styled, high-performance PC. Their very own murderbox.
We still create complete, custom murderbox machines but only on rare occasions and often only to showcase new concepts or products.
I'd like to acknowledge and thank the people who were instrumental in helping us get this far and I'll begin with the person who's played the biggest role in murderbox; and that's Nils Papke of Germany. Nils first contacted me in early 2008 and because of his creative passion and infectious enthusiasm, we quickly became friends. Our friendship soon evolved into a Partnership leading to the launch of murderMod and it was this period and working with Nils, that helped shape the philosophy for the way I work today. Nils reinforced the need to always challenge myself and never settle for less than my absolute best effort. No rationalizations; no compromises - and for this I will always owe him my deepest gratitude.
Without Nils and his groundbreaking contributions of Million-Dollar-PC and MDPC-X, I don't believe PC design and styling would be where it is today. I cannot think of a more influential person than Nils when it comes to the movement to transform PCs from mere functional appliances, to beautiful and compelling pieces of working art.
Another person who played a key role in murderbox was Kirk Olson of the US. Kirk first contacted me as a customer and after discovering our many mutual interests, we became friends. In 2009, Kirk took over operation of the US murderMod store, allowing me to focus my time on creating new products. Kirk has since moved on, having graduated with an Engineering degree, and now enjoys a fulfilling career in the Nuclear Power Industry. I'm grateful to Kirk for all his efforts and will always consider him a good friend.
I'd also like to acknowledge and sincerely thank Allan Henderson, Adam Brovender, Chris McKinnon, Zenon Chan, Ross Framo, Taylor Hand, Par Noren, Len Chaston, Peter Joyce, Kai Chen, Kirill Gorin, Markus Marterer, Luke Wadkins, Aidan Zealley, Jason Macza, Gene Phipps, Scott Steyns, and Billy Turner. Their efforts helped us get this far and they will always be part of the murderbox team.