nForce network controller woes

The Linux server machine I have been using here at home for the last 6 years or so is equipped with an Asus A7N8X Deluxe motherboard. Although the motherboard was supposed to be "deluxe" with many extra components, using those components frankly has often been a lot of trouble.

Besides the intractable SATA controller, I have been particularly annoyed by the two on-board network controllers manufactured by 3Com and nVidia. A few years after I had bought the Asus motherboard, I managed to get the 3Com controller to work (if I remember correctly by simultaneously doing a BIOS upgrade and compiling a Linux kernel with the proper module), but the nVidia controller remained an elusive beast.

Today has seen my most recent attempt at getting the nVidia NIC to work, and this time I am proud to announce my final triumph! :-)