Several weeks ago, I made a critical error in judgment. I paid dearly for my error, and have relearned the lesson I'd already learned in the past. Several weeks ago, I installed the software that came with my new wireless card.
I know; I should have known better. I trust Microsoft to write decent wireless software about a hundred times more than I trust Random Hardware Vendor X (in this case, Gigabyte) to. And, in some level of fairness, I didn't quite realize that that button I was clicking was going to install extra software besides the drivers. I was in a rush to get an internet connection on my downstairs TV PC.
I paid for my error with weeks of incredibly unreliable internet access. I'd lose my connection after a few hours or after locking my PC, and it wouldn't come back until restarting the box. I had to deal with an idiotic access point selector tool instead of the stuff that comes with Windows. But worst of all, it caused me to run out of program guide data a couple hours before The Simpsons, causing it to fail to record.
Finally I uninstalled all of the "required" Gigabyte wireless software, and just used the regular drivers and the functionality that comes with Windows XP, and now everything works just fine. I should have just done that to begin with, and saved myself at least an hour of restarts and fiddling over the past month or two. I need a little warning that pops up that says NO DON'T DO THAT WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOU IDIOT whenever I go down the dark path of installing the "required" software that comes with something. It's always crap.