In the end, I had to erase my hard drive and reinstall OS X in order to get things working again. This is at least the third time I've had to do this with OS X. I'm not sure if the OS is fragile or if my hard drive is faulty. Since I could boot into OS 9 all along, I was able to back up my important files.
(But, fuck me, I forgot to grab this one file where I'd jotted some various random story ideas. However, I've no shortage of ideas, just shortage of time, so that's not the end of the world.)
I spent the whole day yesterday re-installing OSes and apps. The horror of reinstalling Virtual PC, Win 98, and setting up all the versions of IE is too much to contemplate for this weekend, so that will have to wait. I did get X11 and The GIMP up and running but KDE will also wait for later.
Between that and being sick for several days last week, I feel like I've fallen behind, fannishly. Hopefully by the end of the weekend, I'll be up to speed on LJ, email, and general fanbrain stuff.
Oh, and: The Coat is all! Worship The Coat!