Maybe I can help
I am a total newbie to this, and you probably shouldn't listen to anything I say, but I lucked into this today. I have installed Fedora and Mint 10 on my computer and tried various USB wireless adapters to get the wireless to work. I even went to a computer store and spent $20 on an adapter that was "Linux compatible". I found a You Tube video that gave very explicit instructions on what to do. It involved hooking up an ethernet cable to the computer and then opening "additional drivers". That application was supposed to search the web for the driver but it didn't. Also, supposedly, ndiswrapper (the application that allows the Linux system to use the Windows driver for your adapter) is installed already in Mint 10. Then you are supposed to be able to go to Windows Wireless Drivers in administration and find the appropriate windows driver to install. I did this but the driver from the disk that came with the adapter was "invalid". Maybe one or the other of these approaches will work for you.
But.... just for laughs, I plugged in one last adapter a Linksys Wireless G WUSB 54 GC and I was on the air. I have no idea how or why. Maybe it's just finding the right hardware that is Linux compatible, or you have to know a lot more about this than I do. I'm posting this reply using the Mint 10 OS and the Linksys adapter. Good luck. For me, this has been the most frustrating thing about Linux. Other aspects are quite good.