Configuration(s) for development system

I notice there are references here to the use of a PC serial port to communicate with the Vellemann hardware. Several discuss whether a USB-to-serial converter works, or not! I’d agree that generally converters are a Bad Idea but as has been pointed out, many PCs, especially Notebooks and Laptops, now have no Serial Port and also no possibility of adding an expansion card.

I’m just getting started on a project involving a PIC and need to set up a stable dev platform. The LAST thing I want to do is waste time debugging ‘standard’ interfaces!!

It would be really helpful if Vellemann published a list of approved specifications for hardware and/or software that would allow a K8048 or similar system to work attached to a USB port on a Laptop running Windows XP or Win-7, or Linux.