King Author wrote:I actually found a way to get the info while in XP...
intel wifi link 1000 bgn
However, I already googled and apparently, it uses proprietary software so it simply will not work in Linux-Libre. Everyone on the FSF forums and such just says to buy a USB wifi thingy :/
I'm in the process of installing Puppy Linux to my live USB. I'll see if it auto-detects. It probably will.
Though even Trisquel Mini came with a large amount of software I'll never use. I may do Linux From Scratch after all, just because all distros seem to come loaded with tons and tons of programs I don't want. Sure I can delete them all, but if I don't know that there's a program on my machine, I can't delete it. If I hand-select what to install from the get-go, I'll know exactly what's installed.
(P.S. I googled and found out I can manually install IceWM with the following terminal commands...
tar xzf icewm-1.3.8.tar.gz
...I hope it works. Wish me luck!)
If there isn't a proper Linux driver for your wireless network card, it can (probably) still be used under Linux, using a thing called NDISwrapper which allows Linux to use your card's Windows driver.
In my (admittedly limited) experience, recent versions of Puppy Linux are pretty good with detecting & configuring wireless cards. And IIRC the Network Wizard will ask you if you want to use NDISwrapper if it can't find a driver for your card; you just have to tell it where it can find the Windows driver.
If you want to use IceWM on Puppy there's no need to build it yourself - it's available as a package, according to the Wiki. See http://puppylinux.org/wikka/WindowManagers
FWIW, the very compact distros like Puppy don't usually provide a compiler and the necessary header files to build packages from source code, at least, that stuff's not part of the standard installation, but it's easy enough to download and install, if you so desire. But really, it's best to steer clear of building your own software from source and to try to stick to pre-built packages from the repositories (aka repos), especially if your a newbie to Linux.
I like Puppy, and have been using it for several years, although it's not my main distro - I mostly use Mepis, a Debian distro that's kind of like a cousin to Ubuntu. But I have a couple of versions of Puppy on a USB thumb drive so I can have a familiar environment wherever I go. (I never really got into Windows - I can use Windows machines, to an extent, but I've never felt at home on them).
Puppy is unusual in that it uses a couple of packaging schemes, for historical reasons. It has its own native packages, but recent Puppies can also use Debian packages, which means that you have easy access to stuff in a much wider range of repos, not just the native Puppy repos.
I see that earlier in the thread you were concerned about Linux package management. IMHO, package management is actually one of the greatest advantages that Linux has over Windows. The official repos contain software you know you can trust, unlike downoading stuff from various sites all over the Net. As others have said, you can install or uninstall software with a simple command line. However, I rarely use the command line for package management - I prefer to use the GUI (although I do use the command line quite a bit for other things).
The Puppy package management GUI is very good for such a compact system. On Mepis, I use Synaptic. As well as letting you install or uninstall software, the package management software also gives you information about the software, eg a short description of what it does, how big the package is to download and how much space the installed software will take up on your hard drive, and any libraries etc it depends on. The package management software handles dependency issues for you, (mostly) automatically. When you try to install something that needs a library that you don't currently have, it'll tell you the details before you commit to the download.
So if you want to know what software is installed on your system, and what it's for, just go to the package manager. And if you decide you don't need it, you can easily uninstall it.