The computer on Keegan McNamara’s desk is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. The machine sits on a light wood table, bathed in the sunlight coming into the second floor of McNamara’s Los Angeles house. McNamara, tall and blonde in jeans and a light khaki Carhartt jacket, walks over to the desk, sits down, and reaches over to hit the power button. Then he pauses. He forgot something. He digs into his pants pocket, pulls out his keys, picks a silver one, sticks it into a cylinder just to the right of the computer’s 8-inch screen, and turns. A light on the left side of the device turns red. Then McNamara reaches up and flips a silver switch just above the keyhole, the lights on the left turn to yellow and then green, and his computer comes to life.
Like I said, this is not your average computer.
McNamara calls this device the “Mythic I.” It’s a sweeping, curved object that starts with a leather palm rest before sloping sharply upward like dunes on a beach, then gently cresting down again in the back. Oh, and it’s almost entirely made of wood. McNamara spent months sourcing the right maple and walnut, slowly chiseling with hand tools until the coarse boards turned into the gently curving waves in the final product. He scoured the internet for just the right keyboard, just the right leather for the palm rest, just the right screen, just the right internals to make exactly the computer he wanted and nothing else.
Obviously, there are easier ways to build a computer. Lots and lots of easier ways. And the machine McNamara just booted up can’t play YouTube or Fortnite, doesn’t have apps for video editing or web browsing, and is bigger and heavier by far than just about any computer you might buy. But to McNamara, this computer is perfect. Close enough, anyway — he occasionally absentmindedly rubs his fingers on the nicks and cuts in the woodworking or the small crease on the back where two of the wood pieces didn’t go together exactly right. But