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try 'sudo dhcpcd -d wlan0' from a terminal. It sounds like dhcpcd is silently exiting, the wifi notices eventually, like the cartoon characters that run some distance over the cliff's edge, and flags the issue when it realises it shouldn't be here.
Is it renewing a lease? How long is the lease? 5 secs?
Definetly get network manager from http://connie.slackware.com/~rworkman/xfce-4.8/ I also experienced a lot of problems with wicd. Now after installing network manager I have no issues anymore and getting connected to multiple networks is a breeze as well.
This is, I hope, my final update on the issue. I have kept posting as there were a half dozen similar posts with no answers in them.
It looks like wicd is the main issue. When I dug into the guts of it, I see it spawning / killing wpa_supplicant and passing it a different config file for each access point. That's right, not ssid, access point. This kill / reconnect is quick, but still kills the network connection meaning irc, network downloads, etc can be interrupted and may not resume.
My solution which has now been up for 3+ hours without a hickup, was to remove wicd completly and update the /etc/rc.d/rc.inet1.conf file adding these lines for my wireless card:
I then added this line to the /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf
Then reboot (I know I know) to be sure wicd was all gone for good.
finally, from kde, I ran wpa_gui and setup my ssid's, then saved the config. (you don't have to save the config, but if you do not changes will not stick after reboot)
This got me working and seems to have solved all the dropout issues.
An optional step, as I got tired of putting in root creds to run wpa_gui, is to put this line into your /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf:
and I also setup my kde to auto run wpa_gui -t (not the kde menu one, as that will always try and run as root). the -t puts it quietly in my task bar and all is well.