Dock won't show up, side window in finder windows won't be modified

Aug 5, 2008
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I've been the pretty happy owner of a powerbook G4 for nearly 4 years, and today for some reasons I've been struggling with it all day.:Shouting: :Shouting:
First, it started crashing 3 or 4 times. Now when I manage to reboot it, and log in, my dock seems to have completely disappeared. I can still open applications, by either clicking on files' icons on the desktop or through finder, opening a new window and getting through my application folder, but in this case, I have to manually go folder by folder through to the application one, as it doesn't let me create a shortcut in the side window of the finder window.
A couple of things seem out of order too:
i can't use command+tab to switch between open applications;
I can't minimise any window;
my "about this mac" info won't show up when I click on it;
since I have connected my power book to a 23 inches apple display, I use a wacom tablet instead of a mouse, but now the set up seems to have disappeared as well and even if I tried to reinstall the drive to use it, It won't work (and I have to be painfully dragging and dragging my pen across the tablet to get things moving).
Last thing, in my folder system for OSX, I can only find a library folder (and I wonder if this is not the cause of all the other problems). Isn't there supposed to be something else?
I run 10.3.9, and all programs (word, Final cut, firefox, etc) that I use daily seem to work fine.
If anybody knows what can be done to solve this, not overwhlming, but pretty annoying problem, I'd love to hear from you.;D
thank you!
Jan 12, 2008
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Leicester, England
Your Mac's Specs
MacBook, iPod Classic, 8GB 3G iPhone, Time Capsule
I'd try an archive and install, that sounds really, really frustrating.

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