This wouldn't be quite so frustrating except that I keep having to re-install entire operating systems when I need to try something significantly new. Right now I'm going to try downgrading linux from Mandrake 9.2 to Redhat 7.2 since the NIC came with a driver for it and a few other flavors of linux. So far it refuses to work on Win98, and Mandrake 9.2.
Unfortunately, I am in the process of using the rescue CD on the laptop so that it will let me boot from the CD again so that I can install RH7.2. When Mandrake grabs the MBR, it latches on and won't let go, so far only the rescue disk is able to restore it so that I can install another OS onto it.
Ugh. This is annoying. I probably shouldn't have decided to try experimenting with wireless on an old laptop. I suspect learning to do this on a regular desktop machine would be order of magnitude (or two or three) less aggravating.
Eh, blah. At least I've gotten to watch a decent bit of new anime courtesy of the cute girl (have I mentioned recently just how much I dig that fact that she's a geek? ;). Now I just need to find some of this stuff on DVD so I can enjoy it on the big screen... oh and make this stupid wireless stuff work.