Ridey.net’s ongoing technical problems are (hopefully) solved. After having, over the past seven days, reinstalled the operating system, then reinstalled it again after rebuilding the iMac hard drive with Disk Warrior, I was still getting strange behaviour. I thought it might be a problem with additional RAM I added about a year ago. But I took out the 512Mb chip and still had the same problems (applications crashing, kernel panics). Chris suggested it might be the hard drive. A bit of research revealed that this particular iMac model (DV SE 400) has a bit of a reputation for hard drive failure.
So I thought about trying to replace the hard drive myself. But found that it’s a pretty scary procedure. So instead I went out and bought a LaCie d2 external FireWire drive, copied the iMac HD onto it with a great little app called Carbon Copy Cloner, and am posting this with the iMac booted up on the new drive. Seems to be working just fine. Plus, I’ve got 120Gb of new storage capacity, which will really come in handy for digital video productions.