I have also juz recently installed mandrake 10.1 on my laptop, and have had the same problem u had. After sifting many hours spent trawling thru the internet, i successfully got wireless working shweet on my laptop. Now, the most important first step u need to take to get wireless working is to find out what chipset ur wireless device uses. I reckon the easiest way to do that is to go to Mandrakelinux Control Center (by clicking on 'Configure Your Computer') and Click on Hardware.
What u will see then is a range of detected hardware displayed on the left hand column. U should b able to find ur wireless adapter under 'Ethernetcard'. Clicking on ur wireless adapter will display info about ur wireless device on the right hand column.
Once u've id ur chipset, post da info on the forum to get further help!!