I have to eat crow on this one. Two things:
1) I tried the Panda again this morning, and it works fine. Ubuntu 12.04. This seems to indicate that this unit is plug and play.
2) As part of the Amazon sale, I received and email from Panda with an email address for tech support. Before got the unit working, I sent them strongly worded email and got a prompt and professional response asking for basic troubleshooting information (is the led blinking, run lsusb and ifconfig and forward output to support. Right after I set the response email, I got the unit to work, so I can't tell you anything more about the support, but FYI the lsusb returned -- Bus 001 Device 002: ID 148f:3070 Ralink Technology, Corp. RT2870/RT3070 Wireless Adapter
I purchased the Panda Wifi (b/g/n) 150Mbps Wireless-N (802.11n) USB Adapter from Amazon this week. I hope this answers some questions and saves some heartache.
The supplied driver disk is labeled. "RT2070&3x7x_v1.8" — My Ubuntu 11.10 and new 12.04 failed to detect it. No "plug and play" as reported in Amazon reviews.
To test, I installed it in a Windows Vista machine. I had to run the install program from the disk - Windows did not automatically detect and install. It works fine. In device manager the driver is listed as
rt2870.sys version "3.01.08.0000" by Ralink Technology, and shows two hardware ids:
I guess this means this is a Ralink rt3070 chipset, using the rt2870 driver?
For Linux, on the supplied driver disk is file
I am no bithead, but I un-tarred the file and opened the readme, which seems to give some reasonable instructions on how to MAKE the driver from the source code files provided. I am about to embark on that voyage. I am starting with the wikipedia article on MAKE (Software).
If you want plug and play, this is not for you.
The tiny user manual supplied does not mention Linux or Mac. It does have a website. This is a lousy site, but you can download drivers, if you can determine which one you need.