For your number 2:
Do some searching on wpasupplicant. Put Ubuntu (or even Kubuntu, but remember this is newer) in the search as well, there might have been something about this on the Ubuntu wiki. You have to set it up manually (a couple of text files), so you'll need a text editor you can use as root (I like nano, and use this from the command line).
I use WPA on two laptops (different wireless cards) running Ubuntu, and it wasn't hard to set up once I found the right info.
I think you'll need to select the Universe repository for your package manager to find this (search for this as well). I remember the package being fairly well documented, so shouldn't be too hard, even for a noob (we all are, one way or another).
Another scraplet of advice - your question is actually two so it's best to use two threads to avoid confusion.