Well, first of all, I would look into Debian Linux. Knoppix is written in Debian (with the KDE graphic interface) and was designed to run off of CD-ROM.
Next, not all Wireless cards are equal. Some (even by the same brand) use different technologies.
For instance, I purchased a Linksys wireless card and found out that I needed a ver 2 card because the ver 3 card had different technology.
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