The LIRC website just goes on about using serial dongles, but nothing on setting up a laptop with a built-in IR sensor. It also talks about using irrecord, but that program complains about no /dev/lirc0 device.
That sounds like it's trying. Have you made a udev rule for that device?
I steer clear of IR Remotes because for my sins I had to offer telephone support in the past to gimmicks called video senders, which were a way of stealing an extra signal from a satellite box. They were used by people who wanted to watch telly somewhere else, and wanted to control the sat box from afar. The IR diodes could be anywhere from 600nM to 900nM wavelength, and a match was required for a good signal, or any signal.
If at first you don't succeed, give up and save your sanity.