So I finally had the Dell Inspiron 1427 unit I originally purchased but with a factory defect exchanged with another one that hopefully will not have anymore defects since the travel from my place to the computer store is quite a distance.
Maybe because I'm getting a bit more used to it now, and without discovering any defect so far, that I'm appreciating this laptop more. So as soon as I arrived home, I set about changing the OS to Ubuntu Studio 9.10. I had downloaded the image and burned it on a DVD.
Here's where my non-techiness came in. I didn't think of checking my internet connection (there was none) and just wanted to get the installation done and over. But of course, almost halfway through the installation, the installer says "failed to install software packages".
I was so impatient that I aborted installation, popped in instead a copy of Linux Mint Helena's live CD. It was then I noticed that the laptop wasn't getting the wireless signal for the internet connected via router. Worse, Linux Mint kept on hanging.
Alright, so restarted again, replaced Linux Mint with Ubuntu 9.10 and it installed. But still the wireless network wasn't getting detected. Oh no, not another factory defect, I thought. But back in the store, I remember that we checked it and it worked. So there must be something else.
This was how I was until any free time I could get the next day: checking out help for internet and networking. Nothing. Checked out troubleshooting both on the Ubuntu help and Dell's (using a desktop). Nada.
What could be wrong??? I couldn't figure it out and I was so tempted to reinstall Vista Basic since I had the reinstallation DVD. I didn't in the end because I couldn't take going back to Vista and basic at that.
And then it occurred to me to reinstall Ubuntu 9.10 with the laptop connected to the router with a LAN cable. Online, installation was able to complete with all the necessary download and with it detect the need for drivers for the NVIDIA graphic card and the wireless network. Downloaded drivers. Restarted. Voila, wireless network now working.
Did I remember to say I am so un-techie? :)
These are not good pictures but they give you an idea of the Dell Inspiron i bought: