Want to know what the Mac equivalent of a Blue Screen of Death looks like?
This problem has the ever-so-reassuring name of "Kernel Panic", which can be as simple as there's some recent software or widget that's conflicting or some scrambled data on the hard drive and it's just a matter of knowing how to fix it, or as non-simple as a massive hardware failure and the computer is terminal or on it's way there. It did this on startup twice after passing POST and loading for a while. It did start up on a third try after a long rest and some breathing exercises, and I am now backing up the hard drive through the built in backup program, and might also just make a direct copy because I'm having my own Kernel Panic now. :-p
I have no idea what's causing this or how to fix it. The computer's been a bit wonky for a while, particularly with the browser crashing a lot, and it was running with less than 10% of it's tiny hard drive left for a good while before I archived a bunch of files but that was earlier this week. It tends to super-heat when playing videos on YouTube. It was the first startup of the day for it this happened on, though, so it wasn't overheating.
It's kind of a major part of my life, (probably more even than my car, which had a major brake failure and has been parked since the 10th and is another thing I need to fix or replace and have no money for anytime soon) and it's really necessary among many other things, for job-searching. It is a laptop from 2008 using OS 10.5.8 so that's about 90 in computer years. The OS is too old to let me upgrade my browser enough to access Google Docs. It's entirely reasonable that it's having problems of some kind, but being able to afford to fix or replace it is not something that's going to happen in the immediate or predictably near future, considering the rest of the series of calamities my life has been lately. :-p
What I do have is the 4 pages of error log it gave me printed out, and a hope that this is something I can stabilize myself somehow.
If anyone knows technical things about Macs running OS 10.5.8 and can tell me either what I can do about this to figure out the cause and make it not happen again, or where to start looking for information on how to do that, please let me know? I'm going to go hit Google while things are backing up here and hope.