Updating directly from the iPad did not come as a feature until iOS 5, so you will for this update need to connect your iPad to your computer and update through iTunes. For complete instructions, see:
Forum Tip: Since you're new here, you've probably not discovered the Search feature available on every Communities page, but next time, it might save you time (and everyone else from having to answer the same question multiple times) if you search a couple of ways for a topic, both in the relevant forums and in the Apple Knowledge Base, before you post a question.
Sorry, I missed that you had already seen that support article. But I can see from your reply that you are not familiar with asking for help in support forums or you would provide more information about your problem rather than just "instructions don't jive" or "directions are not the same". The referenced article, by the way, does not state "go to general under settings and click on update software" anywhere.
Again, you need to connect your iPad to your computer, select the iPad in the iTunes sidebar, and click "check for updates" and follow the on-screen directions. Perhaps the section titled "Update your device using iTunes" in this support article:
will be more informative (and that one does say "go to general under settings and click on update software" but also says that requires iOS 5 or later). If you have iTunes 11, that article still applies, but you have to click on the iPad button in the top bar first:
or to go the View menu and select "Show Sidebar" and the instructions will apply exactly. Otherwise, if you'll state what you're seeing your laptop or where in the process things are breaking down, we can probably be of more specific help.