iWalt.com reader Daniel Muniz points out that the problem I had with my /tmp directory the other day was most likely the result of a nasty bug in the original version of Safari. MacFixIt currently has some details posted regarding this and other bugs. (Read it quick before the report is moved into the premium content archives.) Essentially, the original Safari can damage the symbolic link between the /tmp and /private/tmp directories which can interfere with the normal operation of programs which use them. If your directories are damaged simply run the command “sudo ln -s /private/tmp /tmp” (without the quotes) in the Terminal. This worked for me the other day and was confirmed to be the best solution by MacFixit.
Safari has been updated, presumably to fix these very bugs, so download the update right away if you’re currently running the original Safari. It’s a shame that such damaging bugs would be released (and so widely) but it is beta software after all. Run at your own risk I guess.