Add range to your laptop's wifi card by installing a removable antenna which is connected to your internal wireless card via the PCMCIA card slot.
Step 1: peices parts
An antenna, size matters
A short pigtail connector
A pigtail to RP-TNC connector (can be anything that matches your antenna)
A "blank" PCMCIA card, comes with most dell laptops to fill the PCMCIA slot
optional: copper wire (pulled out of some old Cat5)
Most of these peices came out of one of the many burned up Cisco Aironet 1200 routers I have sitting in my closet