One of the latest trends in PC networking technology is to put appliances on a PCI card so they can fit directly into a slot of a PC.Transition Networks last week capitalized on this new approach by converting its converters to a PCI-based appliance format.The company unveiled Ethernet and Fast Ethernet copper-to-fiber media converters. With the new format, the converters can now be put directly inside a workstation or file server. Transition Networks points out that this approach can save space on a desktop.It also takes away the need for a separate power supply, as the card draws its power from the PC through the PCI interface itself. No separate drivers are needed and the device doesn\u2019t eat up CPU utilization. The card is just there for the power.If you have a copper network interface card in the PC, you can connect it to the converter with a Category-5 cable, and the converter connects to a fiber-optic line.Transition says the converters can be an alternative to buying a fiber-optic network interface card; if someone were running new fiber to the desktop, they could add the converter instead of replacing the copper NIC with a fiber-based one. An advantage, the company says, is that there are no new drivers to install and support.Transition is shipping six different converters - three for Ethernet and three for Fast Ethernet over multimode fiber (the differences are the connectors supported). The company says single-mode fiber options are also possible.