7.2 IrDA Adapters

If you use a notebook computer, you most likely have an infrared port. Most notebook computers come with an infrared port built in; look at the back of your notebook and you should be able to find it. The port is usually a dark red color. Figure 7-1 shows the infrared port at the back of an HP notebook.

Figure 7-1. An infrared port at the back of a notebook computer

7.2.1 USB Infrared Adapter

It is rare to find an infrared port on a desktop computer. Most desktop manufacturers have not incorporated infrared functionality into their design, mainly because of the lack of demand for it. However, you can add infrared functionality into your desktop by purchasing a relatively cheap (under $50) infrared adapter. Figure 7-2 shows a USB infrared adapter. To use it, simply plug the adapter into the USB port and Windows XP will automatically recognize and install the driver for the device.

Figure 7-2. A USB infrared adapter

You can verify that your Windows XP computer supports infrared functionality by going to Start Settings Control Panel System. Go to the Hardware tab and click on Device Manager. If you can locate the icon named Infrared devices (see Figure 7-3), then your computer is capable of infrared functionality. If you cannot locate this icon, ensure that you really have an infrared port or connect your infrared adapter again.

Figure 7-3. Infrared support in Windows XP