When I was a Mac Genius in 2003, Apple retail charged $30 for the installation of extra RAM, Airport wireless networking, or software purchased in the store.. For most Mac models $30 was a silly expense. It didn’t take much effort to install Microsoft Office on a iMac, an Airport Card in a iBook G3, or extra RAM in a Power Mac G4 tower. (Having a Mac Genius crack open an original Mac mini to install hardware upgrades was probably worth the $30 price tag.) Thankfully Apple did away with this practice for the sale of new Macs. They called this free service a “Mac Pack.”
One of the unique features of the free Mac Pack was the migration of files from a customer’s home computer to their new Mac. This offer brought all kinds of computers into the Apple Store, and not all of them were Macs. Sure there were restrictions about how old the computer could be or what operating system they were running, but as Mac Genius we tried to help everyone. That included customers who brought in old PCs running Windows 98, or old Macs that barely turned on. Against Apple’s best guidance we would sometimes take these old machines apart to extract their hard drives to transfer their data. We would always put them pack together again, and in the case of more than a few Macs fix them up so that they ran better than new.
A lot has changed about the Mac Pack from 2003, but I am not surprised to hear that when BritishTechLive brought a 30 year old prototype Macintosh SE into the Apple Store a Mac Genius was able to help him get it up and running. Thanks to Stephen Hackett from 512pixels for sharing this amazing story.