Here’s a little device that will reduce the number of cables you carry. ThinkGeek is selling this Ethernet crossover adapter for $7.99 US plus shipping and handling. It converts an ordinary ethernet cable into a crossover cable. A crossover cable is used when you want to connect two computers to each other to transfer data between them without using a hub or router (you’ll have to manually assign IP addresses to each computer), or for testing some routers, hubs, ADSL or cable modems that require a crossover cable when you suspect that the cable is bad.

You could always carry a crossover cable with you, but they aren’t always easy to find in a store. If you make them up yourself without a special colour or marking of the cable, it can get mixed up with your regular cables and cause mayhem if you use it accidentally when expecting a regular ethernet cable. This clever device will prevent that scenario. It also has a chain that makes it easy to carry on a key ring or a laptop bag strap, and the price is right. Christmas is coming and it’ll make a nice stocking stuffer for the networking geek in your life. Or give it to a co-worker – you’ll get a wide smile and a “Gee, thanks!” It’s a far better gift than another coffee mug.