When a LaunchPad is plugged into a PC, the little bingle-bongle noise tells you that one or more device drivers have been installed. One of those drivers is a serial port connection between the LaunchPad and the PC. Unfortunately, the name that is assigned varies from time to time so we need a way to figure it out. The instructions below will lead you through the process. Since this is on the website, you can come and look it up any time you need it.
Right click on the This PC icon on the desktop. This should bring up a menu, as shown below.
Select and click the bottom menu item, Properties. This will bring up a window named System.
In the left-hand panel there are some links. Left click on the one that says Device Manager. The Device manager window should open.
You are looking for the Ports (COM and LPT) section, about 16 lines down. Click on the little arrow to expand the item into a list.
Now look for the line that saysStellaris Virtual Serial Port. There will be a name in brackets after it. On the occasion that I recorded this, the name was COM7. Write down the name that you find in your case.
Now you can close the Device Manager and System windows. You are done with them.
On the lower right of your computer desktop you should find an icon labelled PuttyTel* (or possibly just Putty). Double click this to launch it. You should get a dialog box that looks like a bit like this.
You need to click on the Serial radio button (as in the red box) and then type into the Serial Line box the magic name that you wrote down in the first part. When I took this picture, the magic name was COM1. It will not be that in your case!!
Once you have typed in the magic name, you can hit the Open button at the bottom of the dialog box and PuttyTel should open up a black terminal window, like this.
At this point, PuttyTel is ready for your LaunchPad to start sending data to it. If you click in the black window then you can type on the PC keyboard and know that the characters are being sent to your LaunchPad. Whether anything happens when they get there will depend on what you did in your program.