Well I was reading up on the netcard drivers to try to see if an upgrade would help. I read that WPA Security was there but not really supported. I use WPA so I thought maybe I should do something else. I grabbed a Linksys Wireless Router I had sitting around and turned it on. It was set back to all the defaults and I got a connection from my Laptop. The laptop seemed to stay connected and with a good connection for a while. I changed the SSID and the password to something other than the defaults and everything still worked well. So then I don't really like all my neighbors to be able to connect to my connection (like I could to theirs if I wanted) so I like to turn off broadcasting of the SSID.
Once I turned off broadcasting the thing fell apart. I would get disconnected and had problems. So I'm going to try to broadcast but use encryption. WPA encryption that is. I tried WEP without much success. Did try the WPA and as long as I broadcast my SSID I get connected for decent lengths of time.
While I had a good connection and in just playing around for a couple of hours on the machine I had my Firefox windows lock up a couple of times. I was able to close them out and get back to a good state without rebooting but there were a few lockups or times when I did have to reboot. The times I had to do that was when I was playing with the network connections and broadcasting and if I got disconnected my machine would keep trying to connect to my neighbors' wireless systems and I would have to reboot to get it back on track.
I did find and download new drivers for my wireless card but the Install instructions said that they don't provide specific install instructions because of the variety of ways it may need to occur--consult your system documentation (?????) Ok sound user friendly?
I did get good downloads of Firefox but still don't know how to download that. I have to say I was impressed with Skype. They had 8 different options for LInux but the one that matched my computer had an install feature and it was pretty easy. I am looking forward to testing the Skype on that machine to see how well it works. I did test it and it works great.
People have always told me that, LInux could run on lessor machines and run faster than what was required for Windows. They told me it was easier than Windows and they told me it was more stable than Windows. So far, although I can agree that it may be as good a program as Windows I don't think I would say it is better. Still enjoying this project though. I haven't done much with this computer for a week now but maybe I'll get some time to test more soon.