I didn’t play this nearly as much as I hoped this weekend. This morning I had to go to Maidstone. Friday evening and all of yesterday were spent trying to get my Powerbook working after a nasty crash. It froze up trying to import a photo from my digital camera, then wouldn’t restart. Got as far as bringing up a nice blue screen, but without any log in window on top of it.

Trying safe mode just shut the computer down. Disk Utility on the 10.2.3 install disc I have (I was running 10.4.11) claimed to run, but never fixed anything. (Even when left overnight, the next day it was still sat there churning the disk, but not doing anything useful.) Disk Utility on my 10.5 upgrade disc just failed, refusing to even finish checking the disk.

I have, annoyingly, completely lost my 10.3 and 10.4 discs. Yes, I bought them. Direct from Apple. At full price. And I’ve lost them.

Anyway, I could get to a command line in single user mode. Using my PSP’s web browser I learned how to mount my USB stick, so managed to copy off some essential data. Took a few hours of fiddling, but I got there.

Then I tried upgrading 10.4 to 10.5. This was naughty, as it was an upgrade disc from work that I shouldn’t have been using. (It was in my house because I’d brought it in to use Disk Utility to test my iMac’s hard drive, which is dead, and I’d never taken it back.) Seems the gods of software piracy were watching, because after a few minutes the upgrade disc reported an unknown error and told me to try again. When I rebooted and tried again it refused to run at all, because it couldn’t find a 10.4 installation on my hard drive. Well, no, probably because it had just deleted it.

So only one thing was left. A reformat of my hard drive and a clean install of the only version of OSX I had left to try – 10.2.3. Well, it works. And is 10.2.8 now. I’m missing some features, like native zip file support and Exposé and Spotlight. (I am not missing the Dashboard and widgets one little bit.) The latest version of Safari that runs on an OS this old is awful and crashes to death when I go to my favourite forum, so I can’t use that. The wife uses Firefox. So I’m using Opera, which – apart from a deeply annoying lack of autofill and spell checking – seems fine. A bit ugly, but fine.

So that was my Friday night and Saturday. And this morning was the emergency drive to Maidstone. And then I made lunch.

And then I finally, finally, finally got to blow some stuff up in Mercenaries 2. And, oh, it felt sweet. So, so sweet.

…Even though it made me do the really hard mission I’d done last time I played all over again, because either it didn’t save properly or somehow forgot I’d done it. Never mind, it was a lot easier this time round and was great fun. I’m not complaining too much.

Mercenaries 2, I love you. You’re completely broken and a technical mess, but I love you.