I sincerely don't mean to insult, deride or otherwise denigrate any of the contributors to the Ubuntu experience, but, why is the wireless still so bad? No, really. I don't mean "bad" in the sense that someone's philosophy, or strategy, or choice of colors is bad, I mean that wireless is working badly. Maybe it's working great for others, and for years I've assumed it's just me...but it kind of categorically isn't. Four laptops and two desktops later I'm still embarrassed at work (as an IT professional) on a bi-weekly basis when I have to grin uncomfortably and ask that everyone wait while my laptop connects...which it often doesn't. I've been using Ubuntu's out-of-the-box wireless (network manager?) since 7.something, and often tried gutting it and using iwconfig manually.

At the moment, I'm tethered to the wall, in spite of the fact that I'm less than 12 ft from the same wireless AP that I and the others here have been using for months. One moment it works; but if I dare to disable my wireless interface (for testing or god knows what other reason) I'm really asking for it. This happened this morning and now there's no going back...until tomorrow. And that's how it happens. By the magic of simply waiting, or rebooting enough times or coinciding with the equinox it will work again.

With iwconfig I can specify every detail right down to the AP's MAC address and frequency, but several times out of...I don't know...a few more than that it just won't connect.

Can someone enlighten me (without pointing me to another operating system, a doctor they know, a new profession, etc.)?