I do not presently have a wireless connection, and apart from a wireless modem/router I'm not sure what I need. On the task bar there are two icons; one is labelled, "1394 connection speed 400.00 mbps, staus: connected." The other has a red cross against it and says: Local area connection. A nework cable is unplugged.
I'm not sure what this means in relation to a wireless connection. if any.
They don't mean anything. The 1394 icon is your Firewire connection and the LAN one indicated you aren't using your CAT5 cable ethernet network connection.
If and when you add a Wireless Router you will also need a WiFi adaptor in your PC. When you have one installed you will see an extra icon showing a little monitor with a halo - that indicated the WiFi is up and running.