Take advantage of the Infrared File Transfer program

Parthasarathy Mandayam

We've all noticed the infrared port on the back of our laptops, but how many of us have used it, or know how to use it. This tip from reader Parthasarathy Mandayam, explains how the port can make file transfer easier.

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.

There are several ways that you can transfer files between systems. You can use the Wireless Link object in the Control Panel to specify files to copy and a destination, drag files to the Wireless Link icon, or use 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.