Does anyone have a ballpark figure on what it will cost me at the Genius Bar to have this new material installed on my computer?
No idea but it is possible for you to do it yourself. OWC provides a large set of online instructional videos. From there you can look for the macbook pro model you have and look at the video on how to do it. For example, you didn't say which size machine you had so here's the video for the MacBook Pro 15" (hi res video version).
Also, I read someplace that it is wise to have the material on my computer backed up and that backup can also be done at the Genius Bar.
You should always have a backup (or two) and I don't think apple will take the time to do it for you (well, maybe for some ridiculous fee). Get yourself an external drive in an enclosure and clone (backup) your stuff to the external. Popular backup programs are Carbon Copy Cloner and Super Duper.
BTW, if you are planning to make an online purchase at the Apple Store...
I would look at the videos first.
It took 10 minutes between "remove MBP case bottom" and "put last screw back in case bottom" to go from 4 to 8 GB for me.
Not to bash the *technicians* at the Genius Bar, but I know auto repair stores have "standard hour" pricing. "Standard hour" means that the job may be difficult as all get out, or easy. But the price is set to cover "unexpected delays" that come with difficult jobs and all people pay the same higher price. Genius Bar accountants *may* (please do not slam me, forum) follow something of the same policy.
Thank you so much for your detailed response. I took your advice and watched the installation video at the site you provided the link to, OWC. By the time the demonstrator had removed the second screw from the back of the computer I knew I would be totally unable to do this process on my own. Just keeping up with the removed screws (well over twenty) and marking containers to know where to replace them would drive me out of my senior citizen mind. I have never been mechanically-minded and the processes demonstrated on the video are well past my ability and physical capacities. I do strongly suggest these well-made videos for anyone from 7th grade to their 50s, but not for me. I will have to have the work done by someone else.
I also checked the Carbon Copy Cloner and Super Duper. I must admit that I thought backing up meant inserting a CD and making copies of my work. Now I am not sure of what kind of external drive to purchase, and where it goes. But I like the idea that Carbon Copy Cloner allows free downloads of its material with donations for its use.
I have a MacBook Pro 15
Model: MacBook Pro 1.1
Processor: Intel Core Duo
Processor Speed: 1.83 GHz
Your response to me was certainly helpful and I am marking it as such but I am still searching for the "correct answer" if anyone else out there can help.
Now I am not sure of what kind of external drive to purchase, and where it goes.
The OWC site has plenty of external enclosures to choose from (with choices of hard drive size) although many local stores have them too (look for mac versions) as well as on line. Depending on the enclosure they support firewire and/or USB2 (among other interfaces). So if you get one with USB2 or firewire, which I believe your MacBook Pro supports, you just plug it in. You may or may not have to format initially with Disk Utility just like any other new drive. But once that is done it mounts on your desktop and it's just another mounted disk just like your internal disk. Then you use a backup program to copy your internal drive to the external drive. After that you will have a bootable backup of your internal for (a) safety, or (b) you can boot from if your internal drive should ever fail.
As for the correct answer, I don't think anyone is going to be able to "guestimate" the ball park cost any more than that Apple saleswoman could (unless of course you get lucky and someone here actually had apple do the ram upgrade).