IRDA on Linx absolutely sucks. I've spent most of the afternoon and evening just trying to get some basic feedback from an IBM thinkpad. First you have to run PS2.EXE from DOS to turn on the IRQ and IO Port, then you have to recompile the kernel with IRDA support (and irda.o keeps failing as a module because of unresolved dependencies with the function sk_run_filter(). This function is included if you set CONFIG_FILTER=y in the kernel, which I do... Not to mention that now you've got all these modules and devices - ircomm, irnet, ir_tty AND ir-tty, to name a few. Sheesh!
All I really want to do is turn my thinkpad into an IR remote control for my stereo, using LIRC, what a pain in the ass!
If there's anyone out there that's gotten LIRC working with a thinkpad, let me know. Otherwise I'm going to shelve this for a while.