Your brain is brimming with facts, and your shiny new hardware sparkles with possibilities. The time has arrived to put your hands to work. Their first job will be to ensure that the right types and versions of the firmware are installed on your XBees. You’ll be using the X-CTU program for this, so fire up the Windows operating system (or Linux; see X-CTU in Linux), then download and install X-CTU.
The X-CTU program and installation instructions are available at http://www.digi.com/support/kbase/kbaseresultdetl.jsp?kb=125. During the installation process, if you are asked if you want to download new firmware versions, go ahead and get them. In addition to X-CTU, you’ll need to install the appropriate drivers for your XBee adapter board. Most adapter boards, such as the SparkFun XBee Explorer and the New Micros XBee Dongle, use FTDI drivers. The drivers and installation instructions are located at http://www.ftdichip.com/FTDrivers.htm. Windows may be able to discover the drivers on its own if you have Windows Update enabled and are connected to a network.