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I am using Ubuntu 13.10 on a Laptop Dell Latitude D830, just like your friend's, except by the video card (Nvidia) with which I won't be able to help you. However, I guess I've seen something about installation and driver for this device here at Ask Ubuntu.
Concerning the wireless card, try out the following:
1) Do you know the model and chipset of the wireless card? In case you don't, go to 'Software Center', download and run a software called 'Sysinfo' and find out.
2) At 'Software Center' download an other software called 'Synaptic Package Manager'.
3) Using Synaptic search field, look for 'bcmwl-kernel-source' package and check if it is installed on your computer (if installed, a small box on the left side of the package name is turned green). If it's installed, your case might be like mine. I've got a Dell Wireless 1390 WLAN Minicard (chipset Broadcom BCM 4311 802.11 b/g). It may vary among the same laptop model.
4) Look for the package 'linux-firmware-nonfree' and verify if it is installed. Click on the package and read it's properties to know if your device model is compatible.
5) Look for the package 'firmware-b43-installer' and verify if it is installed. Click on the package and read it's properties to know if your device model is compatible.
6) If 3 is installed but 4 and 5 are not installed but are compatible with your device, you probably have at least a hardware similar to mine. Right click on the package and "remove completely" the number 3 and "install" numbers 4 and 5.
7) Reboot your computer.
After reboot, the wireless light should be turned on and the wi-fi should be working automatically. Check for the Wi-Fi / Network indicator on the up-right corner of your screen, click with the right button and choose the network to connect, preferences, etc.
In case your answers on steps 3, 4 and 5, didn't match mine and or your chipset wasn't on the list of capatible models for packages 4 and 5, the procedures decribed here might not be appropriate for your case.
Any way, if you make a try and it doesn't work, you can still revert the install/uninstall realized and roll back the system.
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