The application you want is called ntfs-3g
This can be installed via aptitude.
sudo aptitude install ntfs3g
find out how to use it with
using this for read/write access involves editing the /etc/fstab file
for more details see http://ubuntuguide.org/wiki/Ubuntu_Feisty
gif2png ... converts (IP encumbered) .gif images to (free) .png images.
ffmpeg2theora ... converts proprietary format media files to the equivalent free format files. i.e. mp3 turns into ogg/vorbis and wmv turns into ogg/theora. Then you can play them without using dodgy plugins.