For anyone who orders the IR dongle that connects to the motherboard IR receiver: it appears that the pinout is mismatched on the Actisys side. According to the following page, the RX and TX pins are flipped:

This is probably why I've had no love even though all my lirc bits seem to be in place. Now I just need to rewire the puppy. I'm not familiar with that aspect of things, though. Anyone have an idea on where I can buy one of those pinout heads?