It just doesn't make much sense to me. So you discover writing and some other guy discovers writing. Now you are in a race to construct some library or other. You finish first, and the other guy with his 99% complete library is showered with debrit as it explodes into a pile of rubble then vanishes. I don't get it at all why there can only be one.
I can go along with that and easily see your point. For gameplay though, I'd prefer there only to be the one Wonder, to make it unique. I don't want to do a full investment for something that may not be worth it, because someone else already built it first. For game purposes though, I hope that the "lost" investments doesn't just poof up into a pink cloud when someone beats you to the punsch.
I think a better way to handle it is to make wonders a one time bonus sort of thing. The first person to build the great library gets the best great library, not the only one. This makes sense in a way because the first will be the most well known and attract the most/better people.
I think we need to change our line of thought. If we stop thinking of it as unique Wonders, and instead think of it like GalCiv2-like 'Super Projects', where the first one to build a specific Super Project gets a -special- building of that kind - then we have (at least I do) have a completely different attitude to it (and thus we balance "Wonders" after the cost of Super Projects; We buff the original building, rather than nerf everyone elses). And that would actually be an awesome way to work around the issues of Wonders, in my opinion.
For example, let's say there's a "Great Library" 'Super Project'; The first one to build a Great Library Super Project gets "The Great Library of <name of city>" instead, conferring additional bonuses.
For SMAC I only own the original version. If I try to install from a cd it just bugs out on me, I don't get a chance to change any files. The installer runs on a TINY screen and the only colours it uses are magenta white and grey.
Damn, Tamren, when I listen to the problems you have with your computer (Mass Effect, etc), I can only conclude that you have a magical computer
Try downloading it off PirateBay or somesuch, for a newer release (if that's truly the issue) since I doubt you can readily find it available anywhere (nor should you have to buy the same game, when you already have one). I don't know what else to say, except that I have no issues with installing it.