How to access encrypted volumes from live CDs

Once you have decided to encrypt your hard drive, you might find yourself in the situation where you need to pull off data from it when the regular decryption mechanisms you use are not in place. E.g. when the OS is not booting or the drive has some physical problems. In that case you need to boot from a CD/DVD that supports the encryption technology that you used. In my case I need a live Ubuntu CD/DVD, preferably the same version that was used to encrypt the disk! Otherwise there might be incompatibilities:
sudo apt-get install lvm2 cryptsetup

Changing the MAC (Media Access Control) address of NICs (Network Interface Cards)

In some networks, e.g. the one of Helsinki University, computer's have to be registered in order to get connected. Upon registration the computer receives a name and an IP address. Every time it connects to the network, the DHCP server assigns it the same name and IP address. The DHCP server identifies computers based on the MAC address which is unique for every NIC. However, if you know the MAC address of a registered coputer, you can use it to connect to the network faking the MAC address. This is especially easy with Linux computers:
ifconfig eth0 down

WINE regression testing

I am using Textco's Gene Construction Kit (version 2.5) do draw my DNA vector maps. Unfortunately this company doesn't care about Linux users. Therefore I have to use WINE to run the Windows version of the program. Admittedly, I could run VMware, VirtualBox or Parallels, but all that just to run a small program? Unfortunately either the Gene Construction Kit (GCK) is not coded according to standards or WINE is still not able to deliver full compatibility but now and then a WINE upgrade renders the program unable to run.