What do I need to get started
A decent computer with any of the following Operating Systems: Linux, Windows or a Macintosh.
Stitching panoramas is quite CPU intensive, so having a decent computer with enough memory is sure to be in your favor. See the Hardware page for more info.
A simple camera is enough to get started. If it's not a digital one, you can scan your images or you can have your photo store digitize them and put them on compact disc. If you want better quality, more comfort or more degrees of view you can step up to a camera with a wide angle lens or even a system that shoots a full 360 degrees panorama in one go. Visit the Hardware page for more information..
There are many different software solutions to assemble panoramas these days, but we focus on the panorama tools. They are free to use (under the GPL license), very flexible and will give you the most professional results. See the software page for more info.
A scenery and some light
You'll probably manage to find such a spot on your own.
A basic understanding of the techniques
And that is not as hard as you may think. To learn some basic steps, go to the tutorials section and look for the tutorials marked with one rating star:
Where do I get help
First, search the Wiki. To look for terms you don't understand, go to the glossary. If you don't find the term but feel it should be there, log in and add it to the glossary (don't create a page) Someone who knows something about will create a page.
Use the search facility in the left column. If you press the 'Go' button, you get directly to a page where the title contains the search term. If you press 'Search' or if Go didn't succeed you get a list with pages where the search term is either in the title or in the body.
Web browsers like Firefox or Camino allow you to add this wiki to their list of search engines. Just click on the icon in the search bar and look at the bottom of the drop down list for something like "Add panotools.org Wiki (en)".
Use your favorite search engine to search for more info. There are lots of tutorials on the web that are not yet listed here. Feel free to add a link to the appropriate wiki page if you found a good resource not already listed (search the wiki first).
The mailing list
You're welcome to join the mailing list and ask your question there if you don't find a satisfactory answer here or on the web.