The Mac has certainly come a long way when it comes to interaction with other platforms. Whereas early machines limited themselves to proprietary file and network protocols, today's Mac is a pretty good citizen when it comes to talking to others. However, there are still some areas where the Mac is lacking. One is support of the NTFS file system. At this point, Mac OS X only allows read-only access to NTFS volumes. Fortunately, you can extend the file systems that your Mac supports with a product like MacFUSE.
MacFUSE implements a mechanism that makes it possible to support a fully functional file system in a user-space program on Mac OS X (10.4 and above). It provides multiple APIs, one of which is a superset of the FUSE (File-system in USEr space) API that originated on Linux. There are many resources to get you up to speed on MacFUSE, including a Google Tech Talk video, and you can even check out the MacFUSE Framework documentation if you'd like to create your own extension. Installation of MacFUSE results in a Pref Pane which shows that it is installed. If you'd like, you can remove MacFUSE via the Pref Pane.
NTFS-3G Pref Pane
Once you install MacFUSE, you now have access to a wide variety of file systems. One of the more popular add-ons is NTFS-3G, an NTFS file system that will allow you to both read and write NTFS volumes on your Mac. You can choose from a stable, but slower version, or a version that uses caching, but runs a risk of corruption in the event of a crash. The NTFS-3G pane allows you to enable or disable caching, provide filename normalization, and enable debug logging. An added bonus is that you can also format an NTFS volume. Just go to Disk Utility, and NTFS will appear along with the other file systems you can format a partition with.
Have any other gadgets that let you talk to other systems. Send an email to John, and he'll check it.