"swap the card into another laptop and test" What would this be trying to show? I have already shown the card works in the current dell mini under Ubuntu 8.04. Swapping the card would be very difficult for me. If I knew what you were trying to figure out, I might find an alternative.
Meanwhile I will try booting from the cd, but I suspect the right drivers will not be there.
---------- Post added at 08:10 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:34 PM ----------
I tried booting on the Ubuntu 10.04 CD and still could not connect to the wireless network. (my laptop did not report a connection nor did the router)
I booted back to the loaded system on my mini laptop (where I had run the commands I listed earlier), and my laptop reported that it was connected to the wireless network. However, I could not ping the router. I logged on to the router from another machine, and the router did not show that my mini laptop was connected. I hope this description is a little more clear.
As I said earlier, the wireless network does work under Ubuntu 8.04.