So, I upgrade my 8.04 (Hardy) on my Thinpad X61 and get a new kernel 2.6.24-23. All is fine except the WIFI which comprehensively does not work. The flashing light under the monitor does not flash. The hardware pessimist in me thinks hardware failure. The "all upgrades have consequences" Karmic causal correlationist in me blames the kernel upgrade.
I hobbled my way to a wired network and found the solution here.