I recently had a mac go haywire, taking half a minute or more to get www.google.com loaded. Getting its owner to give up the machine for repair was like pulling teeth - they were insisting that it must be something to do with the network, since so much had changed with the local configuration at about the same time their box went haywire.
I eventually set up a port mirror to a box that I could remote to so I could show that the mac was only irregularly getting packets onto the network. Demonstrating this faced an additional challenge: the latency of the remote desktop software I was using meant that I had to point to timestamps instead of just the moment the packet flashed up on the screen as my evidence.
This particular user was the reason this was so challenging this time around, but I would like to have a box that I can cart from desk to desk to use wireshark on my laptop at any station where I need it. 3com, cisco, netgear, etc. (ad nauseum), all make switches that can be configured for port mirroring, but in my case, the smaller, the better. For the sake of my sanity, I'll probably end up running it off a battery anyway.
If my laptop had two ethernet ports, this would be easy.
So, whaddya recommand for a device that requires 0 configuration at each powerup (though I'm fine with poking at it for a while to set it up initially.) Small, light, and cheap enough to get it past purchasing?