IrDA (infrared) data transfer on Ubuntu

Many mobile phones in Japan (still?) come equipped with IrDA ports which allow for data transfer with other IrDA enabled devices. It’s a cheap and easy way to send contact details from one phone to another, or to transfer content from your phone to your computer, and it’s a lot easier to set up on Linux than I had expected. In fact, I finished backing up my phone data so quickly that I had some spare time left and decided to write this short tutorial on how to set up IrDA on Ubuntu. This has been tested on Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid) and 10.10 (Maverick) with a SigmaTel IrDA dongle (“SigmaTel STIr4200″, according to dmesg) and a SoftBank Samsung 730SC mobile phone… [...]