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How Microsoft Configured IrDA Communications in Windows XP Professional

Having chosen the IrDA standard, Microsoft made the configuration of that interface standard on all laptop installations of the initial release of Windows XP Professional, in addition to RC1 and RC2. The following is the short tour of how the IrDA interface is configured in Windows XP Professional, and a short description of the new features included in XP for managing the IrDA interfaces on laptops and other systems. Figure 1 shows the Infrared page of the Wireless Link dialog box in Windows XP Professional. This dialog box includes enhancements that make using IrDA interfaces more intuitive through interactive feedback when the interface is actually working—one of the drawbacks of using one today until the results are accomplished.

Figure 1 Included in the Infrared options are configuration options for notification of IrDA-active devices in the vicinity and file transfer control

With the Image Transfer page highlighted in Figure 2, it's apparent that at the interface level, the location of images inbound over the IrDA interface will be saved at the location specified here. On the previous version of Windows98 on the laptop this was tested on, a digital camera was configured for the transfer of images over the IrDA interface. Windows XP Professional migrated the configuration of the IrDA port successfully, and provided the checked box at the top of Figure 2. The application for viewing the digital images from the camera, of course, needed to be reinstalled.

Figure 2 The Image Transfer dialog box configures where inbound digital images will be stored once they are delivered to the system running Windows XP.

Finally, Figure 3 shows the Hardware options in the Wireless Links dialog box. During the Install Process, the ThinkPad Fast Infrared Port was discovered and is listed on this page of the dialog box. Selecting the Properties button in this dialog box also leads to the Device Driver Rollback feature that is new to Windows XP Professional.

Figure 3 The Hardware page of the Wireless Link dialog box shows IrDA connections in use.

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