My next attempt was to try installing Mepis Linux (or maybe the proper name is SimplyMEPIS?). It took a little bit of configuration work, but getting the wireless to work was just a matter of figuring out the right settings in Mepis network manager.
Read it here
In the course of all this, I decided to get a new theme for the Firefox buttons and happened across this ScribeFire add-on for Firefox. It is billed as an easy way to blog while Im surfing. So I clicked the little button it installed and a window for writing this entry popped up.