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I bought a good number of sound cards over that period.
I started with a cheap Soundblaster clone called the Thunderboard. It offered Adlib compatibility, which was enough for games music. The card was somewhat noisy when playing audio and not always compatible. It did, however, have native drivers with Windows 3.1 when that finally appeared.
The next card was an early wavetable card from Orchid. I wanted a Roland but couldn't afford one, so went for this thing instead. The card supported the GM sound set, but also roughly emulated a Roland device. It also emulated Adlib playback, but had severe compatibility issues when it came to playing back wave audio.
A few months later I acquired a Soundblaster PRO. Finally I had stereo PCM, but also updated the FM synthesis to OPL3. Finding games that supported OPL3 was tricky, but when they did appear the sound was phenomenal, with big 'farty' bass sounds.
Eventually my old PC became obsolete so I upgraded to something new. That came fitted with it's own adequate Soundblaster 16 clone from Opti, but went back to OPL2 for FM. It lacked any wavetable facilities onboard, but had a slot for a daughter-board that offered the feature. Unfortunately I could never find anything to fit that slot.
Then I picked up a Yamaha XG wavetable board that was probably the last in wavetable technology. The XG soundset added many more instruments to GM, together with a whole other set of parameters that could be tweaked. By then, of course, most games were abandoning external music sources, so it was only really used for other projects. I've still got this card at home, but lack anything with an ISA slot to fit it to.
I'm pretty sure I also picked up another cheap Soundblaster clone around this time too, as the card originally fitted into the PC wasn't compatible with the latest version of DirectX requited by one game. Again
One of the commercial accountancy software packages found in the UK prompts its user to make regular backups of the data to floppies for archiving purposes.
The strategy behind the game is to clear the playfield of all bar a handful of small asteroids, and then wait for the flying saucers to appear. If you're moving fairly quickly up or down the screen you can avoid the saucers with practice. As the game awards 1000 for the small saucers and a bonus life every 10,000 points it's a somewhat easy task to rack up many extra lives. Once the last asteroid was eliminated, the game would restart, increasing the number of large asteroids at the start up to a limit of around 12.
Early versions of the game were even easier as broken game logic resulted in an area of the screen that rendered the player immune to attacks. There wasn't even any means for making the game harder by setting the game's dip-switches - these only controlled the initial number of lives and other sundry settings such as language and coin count. Suffice to say experienced players could easily play the games for hours at a time.
Atari later released Asteroids Deluxe which was somewhat harder. This included a second type of saucer that split into components which homed in on the player, as well as amendments to other parts of the game logic.
There's no maximum as the score counter rolls over at 100,000. You need to have someone to manually keep track of the number of roll overs.
I remember being in an amusement arcade in Redcar, UK in the early 1980s, when someone was attempting an Asteroids record. He had an assistant with a clipboard to verify the roll-over count.
Intelligent LAN cards are nothing new. Back when 80386 processors were being used in servers, several manufacturers produced NICs with their own processor. The LAN protocol stack would be run partially on the NIC itself to reduce the load on main server. We had a Xenix server at work that used such a NIC.
As a matter-of-fact I've still got a similar designed serial card in my cupboard of spares. This used an 80186 to control 6 serial lines, leaving the main processor free to get on with other things.