Since the transition to Intel's platform, Apple adds infrared remote control to its Macs. The Apple Remote can be used for controlling your music with iTunes and your presentation with PowerPoint or Keynote. Apple also introduce "media center apps" that you can experience better with the remote: Front Row. Early MacBook Pro and MacBook has already equipped with remote control inside the box. But, today, the remote is sold separately.
First generation remote has white plastic enclosure, just like the original iPod Shuffle, that was match the enclosure of white MacBooks (and also Mac minis). Today's remote has aluminum enclosure with black buttons, matching the current Mac lineups.
Just line infrared remote controllers for your televisions, one remote is not unique for one Mac. A remote can control multiple Macs, and vice versa: a Mac can be controlled by multiple remotes. This can be an issue when it comes to multiple Macs and multiple remotes in one place.
Okay, calm down. The good news is, you can control the remote access to your Mac. You can pair a Mac with a remote. So, your Macs will only "listen" to just single remote. Or even, you can disable the remote access: Mac will not listening to any remotes.
What to do? Launch System Preferences, and click Security icon in Personal row. if you can't do any changes, just open the "lock" at the bottom first.
To disable the access from the remote control, tick "Disable remote control infrared receiver" option. Or, if you just want to pair the Mac with a remote, click "Pair..." button.
Follow on-screen instructions to pair the remote: push and hold "menu" and "next" (right) button on your remote. Don't forget to direct the remote to the Mac. There will be a notification on the screen if the pairing process is succeded. Done, your remote will be the only one remote that your Mac listen to.
To cancel the pairing, just click "Unpair" button. For example, if your remote is lost and you got a new one, just unpair and pair with the new one.
Unfortunately, the new MacBook Air is not equipped with infra-red receiver. So it won't listen to the remote. Yes, I have the same idea with you: presentation with MacBook Air and remote control would be great. But it just can't.
So, have you equipped your Mac with Apple Remote? I actually enjoy this remote with VLC to watch the movies in my MacBook.