Some things in life make so much sense that they should be etched in stone and implemented throughout the galaxy. One such thing is Bonjour, the zero configuration discovery protocol spearheaded by Apple that makes newly-added devices to a network visible to administrators for initial set up and configuration. Bonjour Browser is a free add-on for Firefox that seamlessly implements the "zeroconf" protocol. Clicking an icon opens a Firefox sidebar to display all compatible devices, ending the need for serial cables and default IP addresses. It can be scripted for batch configuration.
Bonjour 2.0, released in February, works with all versions from Windows 2000 to Windows 7, and would also allow Apple's iChat to include Windows clients. So if intergalactic adoption is too lofty a goal, perhaps we could begin by making it a standard part of Windows.