Following up from yesterday:
This morning Devin suggested the following:
You've had that wireless router for a couple of years (actually, it's 4.5 years old). You might want to try upgrading the firmware on the router itself. Usually you do this by going to D-Link's support page, putting in the model number of the router, and uploading the firmware to the router via it's web-based management interface.
I brought the Acer to work with me today and tried the wireless internet. Lo and behold, it works like a champ! So it *is* my wireless router at home that's the issue. I will be putting Devin's advice to use. Thanks, Devin! btw, I don't know what brand of router is in use at work, because that stuff is squirreled away and outside my dept's control. Unlike my last job, where the router was out on the table in the conference room for everyone to see.
I will wait til after my trip to San Antonio to play with updating the router at home. I have a work upgrade to test from home tmw, so I need the internet to work for that. I thought I might play with updating the router afterward, but my dad had a good suggestion to wait til after the trip is over. Maybe my 4 year old laptop won't like the update to the router, or maybe I'll need to update the drivers for the 4 year old laptop's card too. Better to play with all that after the trippy bip.
Oh, and Acer's tech support did write back, to say I should try turning off power save mode, even though I already had said in my initial report that I had tried that (by that point I was at work and the wireless was working, though a little slow, so it did remind me to turn off power save mode and after that the internet was super fast). Their response made me think of Antoinette's issues with Simplicity's customer service. Half my job is running a help desk, so I think it's doubly painful for me when customer service is poor.