I had booted my new computer in Vista (yeah I know! argh!) and it worked fine. Surprisingly my Fedora 10 on Macbook and also the Fedora 10 on desktop won't respond to the static IP information. It took me 4 hours to figure out that there was nothing wrong in my knowledge of the network scripts. I got the clue when I found the system doing DHCP discovery even when I had set it to static IP. I figured it was because of the NetworkManager (seen as that taskbar network icon). When I googled, it became clear that configuring Fedora 10 with static IP is a known problem and the culprit is NetworkManager and/or system-config-network utility. This thread (#14) is pretty much helpful, but the working solution (or workaround) is not definite.
Here is what worked for me (at least for this box).
# Stop NetworkManager
sudo service NetworkManager stop
# Disable NetworkManager service
sudo chkconfig NetworkManager off
# Enable netwok service
sudo chkconfig network on
# Run system-config-network
# Edit the ethernet device under Device tab
# Under "Manual IP Address settings" put static IP Address.
# Leave Subnet mask and Default Gateway blank
# Change to Route tab
# Add route Dest 0.0.0.0 Netmask 0.0.0.0 Gateway
# Add route Dest
# Change to DNS tab to put addresses of DNS servers
# Check "Activate device when computer starts" same as ONBOOT=yes (I guess)
# Save the settings
sudo service network restart
At this point network should be working. If it doesn't don't get surprised. The same steps don't help me setup my Macbook Fedora 10 with static IP. Maybe I have screwed it beyond repair. I will wait for the router to arrive, to get my macbook online.