NE2000 originally referred to a specific ISA
bus network interface card
(NIC) manufactured by Novell
, but now is a generic term which applies to all NICs which are register compatible
. There are also PCI-NE2000
The NE2000 is basically the lowest common denominator of Ethernet cards today. (Novell also made a NE1000, but it never became very popular.) The NE2000 is guaranteed to be supported by almost every operating system out there, but the performance isn't the greatest. At the time the 3Com 3c509 was a much better card.