We've discussed the different types of ethernet cables and what they're good for, but they're also easy to hack and re-wire to fit whatever need you may have. Before you start stripping and twisting wires though, you need to understand how they work. This video guide walks you through it.
The video, from our friends at Tinkernut, starts off with the beginnings of the internet first, and gets into how ethernet cables work around the one minute mark. If you're already familiar with cable wiring, you can skip to 1:45 to get right to the good stuff, namely how to build your own crossover cable from a regular ethernet cable, how to build a multi-network connector that will let you plug in one computer to two different networks, and how to build a USB/ethernet cable that you could use to turn your entire house into a USB extension cable, if your house is wired for ethernet, for example.
Of course, some of this may be old hat and you can always go out and buy a crossover cable or whatever you need, but learning how they work and what you can do with the cables you have lying around at home is always a good idea.
4 Clever Ethernet Cable Hacks [YouTube]