I'm typing this from an HP-64. This AMD-64 machine is very Linux resistant, and it took me almost two years to find a Linux distro that could operate wirelessly in this machine. I've been mucking around with ndiswrapper and "live" distros all that time to find a compatible OS that would work right. None of them fit the bill, until I came across Freespire. I finally bit the bullet, and commited to installing this distro in this laptop. I created a 20GB partition, and proceeded to install Freespire. The partitioning was simple to do and comparable to other GUI applications. The installation was also simple and didn't take very long to accomplish. The distro managed to find the sound system, and when I provided the manual information for wlan0, it ran flawlessly without needing to mess around with ndiswrapper. Rebooting the machine, the wireless comes up automatically without any errors.
So far I've found no flaws with this distro. Being a Debian derivative, it is easy to update/remove or upgrade the operating system, using all the standard Debian commands. And also, the now free "CNR" warehouse is very easy to use. There are no dependencies problems. Just click and run.
I can't claim that this distro is my favorite. But for the time being, it is in this machine to stay. It is doing it's job, and doing it well. This is more than I can say about the other ones that I tried over the past two years. Oh, and I did find another distro that does work in this machine, but with limited restrictions. It sits into a USB memory stick. The whole thing runs from the USB memory. The big setback is that it is a very big eye strain because of the tiny font that is used. And there are limitations as to what it can do. I found it to do wireless networking pretty reliable. And that's because it uses Window's facilities to manage the wireless access. It also uses Window's management of printing. The setup uses DSmallLinux, and Qemu (i-86 emualtor like VMware but much more limited capability). The stick can be plugged into any Windows OS with USB ports. There is no installation done on the hard drive. It is supposed to run in Linux. I tried it using SUSE, but it didn't work. Also, it didn't work in Freespire either. As far as Windows is concerned, DSmallLinux is just an application that is running on it's desktop. It is nice in a way, because no hard drive partition is needed, and it doesn't use up CD/DVD rom machine space. It also doesn't make much of an impact on the computer's ram availabilty. It uses the stick's memory space instead.
So, these are two items that you may want to try. If you have an HP-64 AMD laptop machine, would like to run Linux, try Freespire. I highly recommend it if your machine has a Broadcom wireless card in it. And finally, if you like a very portable linux, and you have strong eyes, download the free application for the USB stick. Take Linux with you in you pocket!