Collecting and communicating data is a basic function of every computer application. Windows 2000 is no different. Information is entered into the system via a keyboard, mouse, or other source; that information is processed and then output to a screen, storage media, or other device.

Here are two tips to help you take full advantage of these Windows 2000 input/output capabilities. Learn to make the most of the infrared file transfer program and recognize a serial mouse connected to a KVM switch.

Take advantage of the infrared file transfer program
Unless your computer is relatively old, you probably have an infrared port, particularly if you have a notebook PC. You can use the infrared port to transfer data between a camera, printer, computer, or other device that uses IrDA protocols. There are a number of uses for the infrared port, such as transferring files between notebook and desktop systems or exchanging files with an associate when you’re connecting from an airport terminal. Windows 2000’s Wireless Link program lets you transfer data to other Windows 2000 or Windows 98 computers with infrared devices.

Windows 2000 automatically detects other infrared devices (including other computers in close proximity) and displays the Wireless Link icon in the Taskbar and on the Desktop. Several ways that you can transfer files between systems include using the Wireless Link object in the Control Panel to specify files to copy and a destination, dragging files to the Wireless Link icon, or using the Send To command on a file’s context menu to send the file through the infrared link.

If you prefer to use a command console to transfer the files, use the infrared file transfer program (Irftp.exe) included with Windows 2000. To find Irftp.exe, go to the %systemroot%\System32 folder. When used without any parameters, Irftp opens the Wireless Link dialog box, which you can use to select the files to send. Here is the syntax for Irftp:
irftp [/h] [[drive:][path]filename [morefiles]]

The /h parameter specifies hidden mode, which transfers files without opening the Wireless Link dialog box. Or use Irftp /s to view the properties for Wireless Link. In order to view the syntax from the Irftp command line, look in the Windows 2000 Command Reference in the Help file.

Recognize a serial mouse connected to a KVM switch
If you have more than one machine connected to a serial KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse) switch, you’ve probably run across this rather annoying problem: If the switch isn’t set to a computer when it boots, Windows 2000 can’t locate the mouse and, therefore, doesn’t load the mouse driver. Then, after the system comes up, you must use the keyboard for all tasks or reboot with the switch on the current computer.

Aside from the fact that it’s irritating to have to reboot to recover the mouse, rebooting may not be practical. It can often take several minutes for a machine to cycle and load all services.

To bypass this missing mouse problem, make a change to an INF file and reinstall the mouse. What the change will do is turn off Windows 2000’s detection that the mouse isn’t present. Start by opening the file %systemroot%\Inf\Msmouse.inf in Notepad. Look in the [Ser_Inst.HW.AddReg] section and remove the semicolon from the following line:
; HKR,,”WaitEventMask”,0x00010001,0xFFFFFFFF

Save the file, quit Notepad, and open the Device Manager. Remove the mouse and then go to the Action menu and select Scan For Hardware Changes to reinstall the mouse with the new parameter.

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