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[ubuntu netbook remix] Acer Aspire One - does wireless have power if no network?

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http://ubuntuforums.org – It's hard to sumamrise this into a title, but it's simple. On the Acer Aspire One, there's a button on the bottom to turn on and off the wireless card. In Ubuntu, it does work, but is sporadic and difficult, so I leave it alone. Instead, I cilck on the wireless icon at the top and disable it. My question is: does cilcking this button disable the card, ie, saving power, or does it just cut off wireless networks and keep the card active? I'm also wondering if it is possible to start the computer with the wireless defaulted to off, and then turn it on manually? I notice on other netbook distros like eeebuntu and Moblin that they have a specific function to turn the radio off. I'm deliriously happy with Ubuntu Netbook Remix after recently discovering it, so the above isn't a problem or anything. Just curious to find answers to extending battery life. (Hardware)