Hello, thanks for caring! The case seems to be this: this card, as well as many other ethernet cards are supported by the Mac OS from 7.5 and above (drivers are embedded upon factory install even for 3rd party cards), and the previous versions could have these genuine Apple "drivers". However, when you acquire the original installs, the custom drivers may be more efficient, eg using larger cache buffers that leads to faster operation and so forth.
It might be not obvious for those who not use classic OS on a daily basis that:
1) IP addresses don't get shown instantly like they do in OS-X. It will get the DHCP configuration when starting a browser
2) I personally could not get Appletalk sharing files, which was another bag of hurt, as sending files over FTP is not straightforward (you have to stuff them, etc which is really painful to get a working version of the ancient software to do it).
3) configuring the OS is nothing like you can see in the tutorials on the web. one may discover soon that there are no certain control panels, and such.
I wish i could go back to 7.01 or 7.1 for a faster operation, but im not crazy Figuring this out took a whole night already...