-This handbook presumes you have finished :doc:`installing
-<admin/install>` HTSQL and have had a chance to skim our
-:doc:`overview <overview>` to get a taste of HTSQL.
+This handbook presumes you have :doc:`installed <admin/install>` HTSQL
+and have had a chance to skim our :doc:`overview <overview>` to get a
+taste of HTSQL. We also assume that you have a GNU/Linux based system,
+although Cygwin, OSX or FreeBSD might work with only a few tweaks.
+If you need help, please see our `HTSQL Community
+<http://htsql.org/community/>`_ page for assistance.
+In this section we work through the basics of ``htsql-ctl``. For
+starters, you should be able to print the ``version`` information
+If ``htsql-ctl`` isn't found or it doesn't work, then you have an
+installation issue and should fix that first.
+The HTSQL interpreter requires a database, passed as a database URI on
+the command line. The built-in SQLite database adapter has an empty,
+in-memory database, called ``:memory:``. You could connect to it, and
+then type ``/'Hello World'`` to run your first query::
+ $ htsql-ctl shell sqlite::memory:
+ :memory:$ /'Hello World'
+The next step might be to download the ``htsql_demo`` database so that
+you could walk through :doc:`overview` and :doc:`tutorial <tutorial>`
+examples as you might wish::
+ $ fetch http://htsql.org/dist/htsql_demo.sqlite
+ $ htsql-ctl shell sqlite:htsql_demo.sqlite
+ htsql_demo.sqlite$ /school
+The command ``shell`` has limited schema-based completion. So, you
+could type ``/s<TAB>`` to see tables that start with ``'s'`` which
+include ``school``, ``semester``, and ``student``.