So, the wireless failed to work after the clean-install of Ubuntu 11.10 on the net-book. Consulting the forums, I struggled to get the firmware installed; that is, failed. Then I stepped back with the brainwave: run the Additional Drivers search first!
This pulled up the appropriate Broadcom drivers without having to my having to manually tease out firmware. All working again inside 2 minutes.
Note to self - go for the simple, out-of-the-box solutions first, before you go for hard labour.
Why the installer missed the wireless anyway I don't understand - it works from boot using the 11.10 Live CD!?!? RC