IIRC doesn't iRule (and maybe DemoPad) offer free trials? You could kill two birds with one stone!
You've probably seen this, but if it's just basic connectivity testing you want to do, Global Cache has a crude windows-based app (iHelp) that will confirm everything is hooked up correctly and talking:
Yeah, use iHelp... You don't want another app in the chain of things until you know that you've got the backend working. If you're using IR codes (as opposed to RS232 or contact closures), I'd highly recommend using an emitter with a visible LED, or one of the Xantech "Test IR" (just an LED that acts like an emitter), so you know that you're getting "something" at the outputs.
I struggled for a while when you don't know if 1) the GC received the command, 2) the output configuration is correct, or 3) the IR codes are correct... Having a visible LED on the emitter at least tells you that #1 and #2 are working, so the problem is #3.