What happens when you put the apps back into the Dock? Are the programs not running properly or is there anything else going on besides the icons disappearing?
Good morning, I was trying to reply back on my Mac but your answer did not show up on my screen. I finally switched over to my work PC and saw your answer.
When I put the apps back on the dock, after a few days I'll click on say iPhoto and a black question mark appears. I have reloaded iPhoto several times and after a while (a few days), the app responds with a question mark on the dock. I don't use my my mac that often and interestingly when say iPhoto is reloaded, my pics are also there. The balck question mark has shown up on system preferences, Pages and others.
I'm also at a loss why I can't answer you via my mac.
This sounds like a possible corruption in your user account preferences. I'd suggest some general maintenance to clear out the cache first and correct any low level issues that may be popping up (that you might not even notice). Then I'd also suggest making sure you have a good backup of your system on an external hard drive (I personally use Carbon Copy Cloner, not Time Machine). Then if the issue persists, I'd suggest "archive and install" of the Mac OS X and bringing it back to 10.6.5 through software update. As far as the mac giving you issues on this website, I'd assume it is an issue with your browser not being compatible to the plugins required for the chat screen. I'll switch this to Q&A, that should fix things for the mac. Give me a moment.