While attempting to compile some software on my x86_64 FC4 system I ran into a strange problem. For some reason the compile was trying to link against an i386 library. My first thought was why are there i386 libraries on my x86_64 Linux installation? Well it turns out that OpenOffice is not 64-bit clean. So, in order to have OpenOffice in x86_64 FC4 all libraries on which OpenOffice depends must be present in i386 form. This leads to duplication since the rest of the system wants the x86_64 versions. Of course this wastes a bit of disk space but disks are cheap. What is more unfortunate is that loading the i386 version of OpenOffice requires a whole bunch of i386 libraries to be loaded into memory when x86_64 equivalents are already loaded.
Lately, I have been using Gnumeric and Abiword for my office application needs so I do not require OpenOffice. Thus, removing OpenOffice and all other i386 packages from my system was the simple solution to my library linking problems.