In order to follow the discussions in this book, there are a few, though not too restricting, technical requirements. The first, naturally, would be the MySQL software itself. Fortunately, this is freely available and runs on most operating systems (Figure i.6). Chapter 1, "Installing MySQL," will cover the fundamentals of installing MySQL on three popular operating systems: Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.
Figure i.6. MySQL is available in versions designed to run on almost every operating system, including various types of Unix and Windows.
The bulk of the chapters involve administering and interacting with the database from a command-line perspective. Whichever application on your operating system gives you this access is acceptable, be it a DOS prompt on Windows (Figure i.7), a Linux shell, or the Mac OS X Terminal (Figure i.8).
Figure i.7. Windows has a command prompt (or DOS prompt), which will be used in this book.
Figure i.8. Mac OS X comes with the Terminal application, which allows you to interact with the computer on a command-line level.
Lastly, the programming chapters covering PHP, Perl, and JavaChapters 7, 8, 9, and 12will require a text editor, a Web browser, and so forth. The specific requirements will be discussed in the pertinent chapter.