Hey! Thanks for your advice!
Then blacklisting and reboot is the way
Well, I tried that. After reboot, lsmod shows the module is not loaded, but then 'modprobe airo' still hangs.
Have you read the wifi wiki?
Er, I skimmed over it, full as it is of stuff about ndiswrapper and the notorious bcm43xx (that caused me to buy a Thinkpad, actually two Thinkpads now... hello HP, are you listening?
The wifi wki fell at the first hurdle... there is no use mucking around with Network Manager if there is no wifi interface exposed by the driver to manage. I looked in /etc/network/interfaces and it had only the loopback. I tried to restart networking and I tried rebooting, with no effect.
Perhaps you need to use ndiswrapper...
No offence intended, but this hardware works with Debian, Dapper Drake, PCLinuxOS, Zenwalk, and a couple of other distros I've forgotten now, all out of the box with zero probs, and certainly no ndiswrapper in sight. Just out of curiosity I booted my Daryna CD, and it works fine there too.
I'm left with no alternative but to conclude there's a problem with Elyssa. Never mind, I'm not committed to Elyssa on this hardware (it's my most-recently-retired laptop now serving as a testbed). I also have Elyssa on my R61, and I'll be going to that whenever my must-have Firefox extensions catch up with FF3.
Thanks again for trying to make it happen, your efforts much appreciated!