So, I'm pretty new to Mac and I made a very big beginner mistake... I gave myself permissions to the entire harddrive. 18 hours later I eventually got it to run "DiskUtil repairPermissions /" and the system appears to be stable.
Now... I believe this problem is related to the fact that my admin account still has rights to everything. Multiple applications are not retaining their settings. Adium forgets my notification settings, Eclipse keeps asking for the workspace path, MonoDevelop forgets my layout, Chrome forgets that I want the OmniBox to use Instant search... and so on.
Does my .config folder have the wrong permissions? Is there something else entirely I don't know anything about that I need to fix? I know it'll probably take some terminal commands and I understand the basics of chmod and how permissions work (ish). Any ideas would be appreciated.
I'm being more cautious about things now. I have a better understanding now than when I started and won't make any changes that I don't see as necessary.
Currently I still have permissions over everything that Repair Permissions didn't reset permissions for. I still have read/only permissions over the root folder, the applications folder, and /Library. I'm skeptical of just removing myself from the harddrive for fear that it might remove my permissions from EVERY file.
Considering how bad I messed this up, things are running stable (aside from the preference amnesia here), I'm writing this from the machine.