However, latest effort has gone very well! I'm using Ubuntu 10.10, and the following process seems to have got it working. The device is auto loaded by Ubuntu when you plug it in, but the important step is to make sure you have the correct firmware that is loaded to the stick when it is plugged in.
I used the instructions from here...http://wireless.kernel.org/en/users/Drivers/p54
which basically boil down to download the right firmware, in my case the chip inside is a
Add hey presto, it all starts working.