Hello, my name is Dan.
I will do my best to help you, the only stupid question is the unasked one.
What you need is some simple maintenance.
You need to start with repairing the permissions, depending upon which version of your operating system you have determines how long it will take. 10.5 will take much longer than 10.6.
After that I wanted to do a safe boot, this runs UNIX repair routines on your hard drive and will help a lot with the spinning beach ball.
To do a Safe Boot, restart and before the first chime press and hold the 'Shift' key.
Wait until you see the Apple logo and the spinning gear appear, then let go.
It can take as long as 20 minutes to load, so please be patient.
When the login screen appears it will say in red on the login window 'SafeBoot'.
Now login and give it a few more minutes to finish loading.
Try doing whatever it was it was giving you the problem. If it works then probably the problem is solved, so restart normally.
If the problem persists then restart normally also, other fixes will need to be done.
And last but not least is the pram reset, this helps a lot also.
To do a PRAM reset, you need to restart your machine and hold down these 4 keys.
‘Option’, ‘Command (Cloverleaf or Apple)’, ‘R’ and 'P'.
Keep them down until you hear 4 startup chimes, this is the sound that it makes when it starts up.
If you have a wireless keyboard then the procedure is a little bit different.
Use the very same keys but wait until the first chime and immediately press and hold those keys. I recommend getting your fingers ready because timing is critical.
This resets all of the system buses on your computer, USB, FireWire, display, ethernet and your keyboard/mouse/trackpad.
This will correct many faults but not necessarily yours.
Let me know.