Thanks to Broadcom not supporting libre software, wifi with bcm43xx drivers used to be an issue ...see and Earlier, ubuntu 8.10 brought out networking issues on my laptop which worked flawlessly in one city (Bangalore) but suddenly even a wired connection failed. Kinda odd to have no Lan but no  jumping loops for wi-fi drivers because in recent versions of Ubuntu (8.10 onwards) the device driver hardware was detected automagically. After loading Ubuntu (a clean install once in 2 years is better than an upgrade), the user has the option to activate a non-free drivers for Broadcom wi-fi cards so device drivers dont have to be manually loaded now. I cant recall if its from the ugly set of plug-ins and hence less supported.   Anyway, the The ethernet cable would detect a direct connection in Vista but not in my Debian and Ubuntu installations. Time to wade through a list of "lan not working in Ubuntu" bugs for every other laptop model and there was another kernel bug filed but that was an issue I faced in ver 8.10 and before. A few minutes of experimenting and wading through help forums didnt help the LAN detection problem. Then I checked /etc/NetworkManager/nm-system-settings.conf



and changed the above value to "true" and then "sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart" solved the lan problem.