I wrote a letter yesterday - an actual, ink on paper letter. Well, it was ink on paper after I printed it out, so it started life in OpenOffice. I'm running OO Writer on openSUSE 11.3. From bad experiences time after time after time, I have little faith in printers in general, and no faith in GNU+Linux support of printers specifically, so I didn't even try printing from openSUSE. Instead, I tried saving the document as a Word document so I could reboot into Windows 7 and print it from there.
As might be expected, OO Writer hung hard and couldn't be closed even by the KDE Ctrl-Escape System Activity utility. kill -9 to the rescue, curse, then try again. It worked fine second time round.
I became a little sad at how I was betraying my Free software ideals, so with a heavy heart I loaded up Windows 7 - alas, a fast, smooth trouble-free boot. Just as I was questioning whether Free software ever had a hope of dealing with the hard (but dull) problems that commercial software developers are paid to solve in order that consumers may have an easy life, my faith was restored:
Completely randomly, out of the blue with no prompting, something somewhere in the bowels of the mighty Windows stack had decided to reinstall my mouse drivers, and failed - except my mouse still worked. WHAT.
To be fair, I did eventually try printing from openSUSE, and it worked. Not well (it was four or five times slower), but I'm quite impressed that it did anything at all. In the year 2011, there are still hard unsolved problems on both sides of the Free/proprietary fence. It's a positive thought - while nothing really works, everything is still up for grabs!