According to the instructions this should be easy - I tell the IP Camera to connect to an ad-hoc network called 'bentv', and then use NetworkManager in the Ubuntu desktop of the netbook to create the ad-hoc network.
This works fine on my main laptop, but fails on the netbook.
It turns out that NetworkManager is not capable of putting the wireless card into ad-hoc mode.
The work around was to have the script to start the VLC viewer shutdown network manager and set up the network manually as follows:
ifconfig ath1 down
wlanconfig ath1 destroy
wlanconfig ath1 create wlandev wifi0 wlanmode adhoc
iwconfig ath1 essid bentv
iwconfig ath1 channel 1
iwconfig ath1 192.168.1.35
iwconfig ath1 netmask 255.255.255.0
ifconfig ath1 up
vlc --fullscreen rtsp://192.168.1.17/ipcam.sdp
This is based on information I found here.
This seems to work, but the wireless networking is a bit iffy after the script exits - I might have to do the wlanconfig destroy bit again to put it into infrastructure mode.