My replacement RAM finally arrived. I’ve heard crazy stories in the past about corrupted memory —weird symptoms misdiagnosed as software problems, the whole bit— but I've only fully come to appreciate it in the last few weeks.
Overall slowness during memory-intensive tasks is to be expected when your 512MB DIMM is reporting itself as 256MB… you know something’s screwy and you can’t trust the DIMM, but FireWire malfunctions? An inability to burn CDs? Very weird. Thankfully, every one of those problems has been fixed with the installation of some new and dependable RAM… and everything feels a bit snappier, too.