The dongle is a DLINK DW 140 range booster and it works fine with puppy linux and Ubuntu both of which are too big for this old laptop.
The lsusb output is:
Bus 001 Device 002 ID 07d1:3c0a D-Link System
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
so DSL seems to know it is connected but comes back from Wlanconfig with "No wireless network card found"