I am taking a data structures class and we are using the standard gcc compiler on a unix system. This is fine and I have no troubles using it, but I would like to begin using an IDE for my labs. I am trying Visual Studio 2010 Professional with my .c files and am able to get very simple programs to compile and execute, however the current lab I am doing requires me to first compile the .c file into a .o file before linking it to another .o file using gcc filename1.o filename2.o -o filename. From what I understand the object files on unix and windows platforms differ, but I still do not understand exactly what a .object file is. This i can look up. What I would like to know, is there a good IDE for the c language ( linux or windows is fine) and if Visual Studio is the recontamination how would I go about compiling my file into an object file, linking it, and then running it.
Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance.