I've had and used this thing for a long time and one of the reasons I've not thrown it out is that it's always worked really well for me!
One thing that had bugged me from the start though is the poor IR reception. It was fine when the PC was within range but after my wife insisted in moving stuff around in the living room, the PC is now out of range of the remote!
I think that there are 2 ports on the back labelled 'IR'. Can they be used in some way for an external IR receiver to extend the IR range?