Slow Safari And Dashboard


Hi, I know squat about Macs (or computers really).

I have a powerbook running Tiger OS10.4.2. Recently (and suddenly) my Safari and Dashboard have become incredibly slow to boot up. Safari seems to get 'stuck' on the beachball, and Dashboard just hogs all the processor (?) and gets stuck half-way through surfacing.

With Safari, I've noticed that if I click out of Safari onto Finder, the problem usually and immediately resolves itself.

Dashboard, if it shows up sometimes gets stuck. For instance, it will load up the Dictionary Widget, but it will not perform my word-searches.

Any help would be much appreciated. The simpler the better (can I re-load OSX or something?) I've tried clearing the cache from Safari, but this had no effect. And I've tried 'disk permission' in the System tools with no effect.

Many thanks!