After much gnashing of the teeth and much much much reading (here and elsewhere) I took the plunge and went wireless.
I've been dying to do this for a while, but the sheer amount of docs on the subject as I browsed and the uncertainty (at the time, I realize its better now) of which cards work where in linux daunted me.
Well after reading and reading, I decided on the Netgear MA401 and a cheap DLink 714P wireless router...
I have 2 laptops to support, mine is linux only with Mandrake 9.1 and my SO's laptop is Win98 and Linux.
I have to say I fully expected to go through hell to get everything to work properly...
My plan was to set up the router and a card in Windows for my fiancee, then use that card in my laptop knowing that the hardware works.
Well surprise surprise, while setting up the router and the card in windows for my fiancee was easy (very easy)...it was even EASIER in linux!!!
I kid thou not. Here's what I did...
1 - popped out my NIC and popped in the wireless.
2 - DrakConf -> Network Connection Wizard...autodetect.
3 - as root I issued a cardctl reset but I'm not sure that was necessary..
(Note: at this point, the card worked BUT it seemed to be detected as my old 3com card...weird...HOWEVER, on my next boot it came across as orinocco_ps and worked flawlessly)
After that it was just a bit of browsing that allowed me to see where to set up WEP and stuff...(piece o' cake) then I logged on to the DLink AP through Mozilla (Yay!! Didn't even NEED windows for that).
So now I'm all set up...I even patched my orinocco drivers so I could use Kismet and stuff if needed....sweet
I am one happy linux camper
(Another note: Since I knew I was going wireless, my last kernel upgrade I made sure the wireless stuff was incorporated in the kernel, my fiancee has a stock Mdk kernel and it didn't detect her card hence it doesn't work for her, but I'll tinker a bit and I'm sure it will work)