Although I 100% agree with theonetheonly's solution to the problem, it defeats the purpose of having a wireless laptop in the first place. If you assign a static ip to the laptop you use with your network, you are pretty much stuck to your network to get a connection. If you're out and about and try to find a 'hot-spot', then you have to hope that the gateway for the connection has the same address and, even if the laptop sees the connection, that you're not sharing an ip address with someone else and that your assigned static ip is within the range of that wireless router. I would think it would be a bit of a pain to turn 'obtain an ip address automatically' in the TCP/IP settings off everytime you went out then turn it back on (which means you have to re-enter the settings) everytime you got back home or wherever you set the laptop to connect to originally.
Again, I agree that it is a rock solid-solution to the problem, but only if you're content to use the wireless connection with the network you set it up with originally. Otherwise, it is only a band-aid and not a solution.
Also, nothing personal, just an opinion.