This video (see below) reminded me of one of the similar CDs (not by Apple but also for the Mac), I picked up once. The problem with these products: This was in 1993/94, when most households had just a single landline telephone, which wasn’t necessarily installed right next to the computer.
In my case, when I acquired a modem, I also acquired a 10m modem cable in order to connect it to the rather distant phone outlet. Back to the dispatch CDs, the procedures were as follows:
- select the software in question in a menu, enter some personal details, and press a buy button,
- the CD browser generates a personal key,
- phone the distributor, who would finalize the deal and give you an activation code in turn, to be
- entered in the CD application, which would
- generate an unlocked installer.
However, these activation keys had apparently a timestamp encoded and the timeout was extremely tight, and in my particular case, as it turned out, much too short – stranding the deal on the way between 4) and 5).
The CD came with a range of programs with one to be picked for free, so I gave it a try. The procedures were actually straight forward and you even hadn’t to provide any payment details for the free pick (not your modern App Store), but there was no way to enter the activation key into a computer not located closely to the phone. I tried three times (or so), including scribling several versions of the activation key down at the phone, sprinting from the phone to the computer, and retyping it from the note pad, but to no avail. … (There was also a significant delay in the CD software, which brought up the prompt for the activation key – adding another minute or so to this.) Eventually, they mailed me the unlocked program on floppy.