Which Atheros WiFi chipset does that thing use? From my Acer Aspire One:
With Kubuntu 8.10, it didn't work out of the box, but I didn't neet to compile anything. I just had to disable the default-installed driver (I think it was an older version of Mad Wifi), then install the "linux-restricted-modules" package (or whatever it's actually called). That had a working version of ath5k, and gave me no troubles once installed.
jeffro@jeffro-one:~$ /sbin/lspci | grep Atheros
03:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR242x 802.11abg Wireless PCI Express Adapter (rev 01)
Sorry if I'm hazy on the details, I ditched Kubuntu for OpenSUSE 11.1.