On Sun, 08 Aug 2004 21:18:41 +0200, David wrote in message 

> Greetings,
> I'm new at the mail-list and at Flight Gear.
> I introduce myself:
> I got the degree on Electronic Engineering a month ago. My Thesis was 
> focused in the design and building of a VTOL robot. It had to be 
> controlled by microcontroller, and remotelly by a PC. The robot, is a 
> lightweight 4-rotored aircraft. The microcontroller controls the 4

..hummm.  Thesis url?
> motors, and handles the communications with the PC through 
> macroinstructions and a protocol I designed (for what I'm proud). The
> PC runs a Visual Basic program that monitors and logs the motors and 
> microcontroller status, and sends orders from keyboard, mouse or
> joystick.
> The  presentation took place one month ago. I got a nice mark (10 out
> of 10 :-D ).
> Although the thesis is written and ended, I don't have the feeling I'm
> to forget it and go to another thing. It never was job, it's a hobby.
> I'd like to continue with it, but I'd like to go beyond my former 
> Thesis. The communications were wired and slow, the robot badly flies,
> and I didn't implement sensors.
> I'd like to use a helicopter, sensors, wireless communications, a
> visual interface, a autopilot microcontroller-based program, and a
> speedy PC program to log and compute and control.
> Summarizing: I'd like to learn C++ and OpenGL, and I need a simulator
> to run all the tests. And gosh! Flight Gear is an Open Source Flight 
> Simulator written in C++ and OpenGL!

....ahem; FlightGear, no space.  ;-)
> I'd like to learn how to use Flight Gear, to adapt Flight Gear to my 
> needs, and be a part of the community.
> Till now, I used WinXP and Visual Basic, but I'd like to start the 
> project using only free software. I've downloaded Dev C++, Flight
> Gear, Mandrake and Gentoo...

..nonono, you want Debian Linux.  Mandrake is good for newbies who 
works in an office where the other droids use WintendoXP, and Gentoo 
is a wannabe something I don't remember and both has a few IDE's 
and Debian has them all, it has 11 different hardware platforms for
linux plus Hurd and FreeBSD for i386.

..and you will wanna listen to David M (Magginson) on setting up Emacs;
if it can cook coffee, it can fly your chopper robots.  ;-)

..debian installer: http://oss-us.sns.ro/Hilux.html
I use ClusterKnoppix, Quantian and DamnSmallLinux myself but you will
wanna stick closer to "stock" Debian, Hilux gives you an updated Woody.

..and Debian is a nobrainer on maintenance, it just works, Woody 
is for people who runs merciless 24/7/365.25etc services.  
If you wanna try bleading edge Sid, simply prepend "un" to "stable" 
in the lines starting " deb " in /etc/apt/sources.list and run 
" apt-get update ;apt-get dist-upgrade ", that'll hop you up from 8,700
with Woody to 13,000 different software packages.

> What IDE do you suggest me?
> What O.S.?
> Where do I start with OpenGL and C++ and FlightGear?

..start with the above links, and as you hear and learn more, you will
form your own opinion on the "where do I start with OpenGL and C++ 
and FlightGear?".

> What manual would you suggest?

..med vennlig hilsen = with Kind Regards from Arnt... ;-)
...with a number of polar bear hunters in his ancestry...
  Scenarios always come in sets of three: 
  best case, worst case, and just in case.

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