The first "problem" (miniature tools) - I would guess he is clicking on the corner of the tool icon and launching the flyout of alternative tools to choose from.
For the second, it sounds like he has managed to click on mask mode (red is the default colour for masks in photoshop).
Without seeing a picture or two it is hard to determine the exact issue, but that would be my best guess based on the info provided. If that's not what's happening there are plenty of forums (adobe host plenty for instance) that would be better placed to answer.
Hope this helps