the system has updated, and I tried my usb wireless adapter again and I am getting the same message I had at the beginning (refer to post #4).
Where I have this machine, I can't string a cable out to it, and don't want to spnd the money on a PCI card for it.
I discovered that if I close the box enough times it finally gives up, and lets my device work. I will be upgrading to F10 tomorrow (after the download is complete), hopefully the problem will disappear then.
It works now though and that's all I really care about.