One of my linux boxen (my fastest with the best hardware) died a couple of days ago :( Motherboard issues. My two other Kubuntu boxen are stocked with hard drives and therefore, when I wanted to retrieve data from the hard drive of my busted PC, I didn't want to risk fucking around with the already overloaded PSUs of said boxen. However, my sole Windows box was pretty free, but obviously Windows does not understand Ext3. So, an application was required, not unlike Samba and NTFS-3G, but which did the opposite - access linux partitions from Windows.
Enter google and the ensuing result was Explore2fs, a simple (in terms of its front-end) application that scans for Ext3 partitions and provides read-only access to them. Clean and excellent program that saved me oodles of time!
There are also applications that provide write access to said partitions too. However, most reviews indicated that corruption can occur.