I recently bought a new WLAN USB stick for my laptop hoping, that it would be recognized by Ubuntu 9.10 out of the box (I know, I know... I could've looked into Ubuntu's hardware database, but this came to my mind the moment I arrived at the shop...). Needless to say it did not. With my old stick I did some hacking with blacklisting drivers etc. pp.. But this time I decided to use the popular ndiswrapper.
And I have to admit, that this was a real got choice! It's so easy (at least if you are lucky - I also read about people having more problems with it afterwards then before, so as always: don't forget to backup your system^^). Here we go:
$sudo aptitute install ndisgtk
After having installed and started ndisgtk, a gtk frontend of ndiswrapper, simply click on "add" and search for the appropriate *.inf file on the installation CD. It's the one located in the XP_x64 folder for 64 bit machines or in the XP_2k folder for 32 bit machines respectively. After having applied these settings, the only thing left to do is rebooting and we're done! Your stick should now work like a charm.