You would not believe this.
I was going to upgrade my kernel -(which i want to do when i learn how) and all of a sudden on an empty desktop appeared a small screen with the heading "wicd network manager" -I put my essid login there and the right encyption and VIOLA it all came good. So now, Linux is my friend again. Still not sure what happened, but I'm sure glad to get rid of the long cable to my laptop!
I would appreciate a walk through on updating my kernel if you get the chance
To update your kernel, is the same as any other update - ensure you have
make sure you are up to date with your install (synaptic, reload,mark all, apply)
and then follow the instructions in http://www.pclinuxos.com/forum/index.php/topic,92661.0.html
and this post
then reboot as required.
once those instruction are done - open synaptic and use the search function for kernel 2.6.3 this should narrow your choices down, once you have selected the kernel (use the latest one (ie highest version no..) select it (it will bring in the devel package as a dependency) and install as usual, once it has finished reboot, and allow for the first boot to be little longer than normal .
once this is all done you will be up to date and compatible with the changes on 1st October - as noted in Texstar's post.
btw, sounds to me that you had installed wicd at some point and tat had taken priority over drakconnect..