I picked up a netbook recently and attempted to run Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri on it and experienced massive failure and fixed it. Hopefully if you're having problems running it, this will help you.
SMAC doesn't like running under funny aspect ratios. If you're running at 1024x600 like I was, the executable will immediately crash, since it tries to use the desktop resolution and it wasn't programmed to allow for that one. So, to fix it, run at 800x600. I suggest turning off the scaling in the driver if you can--there's an option to "center the desktop" or some such on the Intel 945 chipset graphics driver, that will prevent it from looking like ass. You can also use the schemes on that to set up wide aspect and standard aspect schemes to go back and forth more quickly.