This article was developed in a Linux environment with MySQL 3.22; because we're beginning with the basics, most of the details should apply to MySQL in any Unix environment, and probably even MySQL in Windows. MySQL is not a subject that computer novices are likely to take up on a holiday weekend, so we necessarily assume certain background experience, including basic Perl, Unix/Linux, and databases in general.To best understand MySQL we should start from above, like surveying a cityscape from a helicopter. MySQL operates on a client-server model, not unlike many other network applications. The MySQL server is the Grand Central Station for the city of MySQL -- the server handles incoming and outgoing traffic to and from a database. Any machine which you wish to process queries of a MySQL database must be running the MySQL server; in other words, Grand Central Station must be open for business for any traffic to arrive or depart.