I have no problem with the wireless adapter, but my home router is wired (as I live in an apartment, I'd rather not leak radio waves to my neighbour.) So I went to an internet cafe and downloaded the bits and pieces I needed to repair my wired router.
Note that my background is pretty exclusively Windows based, so I'm very much on the learning curve when it comes to Ubuntu. But I can point you at the web resources I used and "summarise" (edit: it's grown quite a bit...) the steps I took to install Ubuntu on my laptop (an ASUS X502CA). But with absolutely no guarantees!!!
One of the reasons I chose Ubuntu as my first Linux was that I'd heard the Ubuntu community was very supportive; and this does appear to be the case. I found a lot of what I needed to know on or thanks to http://askubuntu.com
. Another useful, similar site is http://ubuntuforums.org
But note the whole UEFI Secure Boot matter has generated quite a lot of activity, so you do need to do a bit of sifting to get the relevant, up to date information.
Also, before I bought my PC I did do a bit of homework. I already knew that ASUS had a reasonably good track record when it comes to Ubuntu support, but I still carefully checked out which of their models were seen as Ubuntu friendly.
Ubuntu on Asus Models
I also googled for problems with whatever model and Ubuntu to check out for what was being said in the forums. It's probably best to avoid really new PC models if you want to steer clear of driver problems.
You should probably check your PC does not have lots of complaints about it before continuing.
My PC was actually listed on the web site I bought it from as an Asus X501A Laptop (it was on special offer!) so I was bit worried when it turned up as a X502CA -- the successor mode. But it all worked out in the end (the new Intel 4000 graphics did not cause me any problem. And the fixed network driver problem was easy enough to fix, at least for someone who knows how to run a compiler.)
For some reason, the most confusing thing for me was the BIOS config (see my post on the matter below...) My ASUS laptop would not let me enable the legacy CSM boot mode until I'd disabled and then restarted my PC. In hindsight it's trivial, but was not at the time.
(And the BIOS editor only displays the CD boot when my PC spots the external CD drive, which is a little bit intermittent for some reason.)
By the time my PC arrived I'd already burnt a DVD using the Ubuntu 12.04.2 Desktop 64-bit ISO (ubuntu-12.04.2-desktop-amd64.iso), so I decided to just give the installer a go: changing only the boot order used by my PC's BIOS, I launched the Ubuntu setup only to get a black screen.
Black screen when trying to install Ubuntu 12.04.2 on ASUS X502C
This problem has been reported a number of times, and I was worried that the laptops's Intel 4000 graphics wasn't supported. In the worst case I'd have to do a command line install, and add the GUI components after repairing the graphics driver. But this thankfully turned out not to be the case.
How do I configure an Intel HD Graphics 4000?