On PHPMaster.com today there's a new post, the first in a series, about avoiding the original MySQL extension in favor of what mysqli has to offer. The cover some of the basics of the extension and include code showing its use.
Experienced developers eschew the original MySQL extension because of its abandoned status in PHP. Nascent web developers, however, may be completely oblivious to its dormant past and dying future. [...] It is therefore the intention of this two-part article to raise awareness among developers who still use the MySQL extension, inform them of its problems, and to help them switch over to an alternative extension.
They start with a brief look at the "what's wrong" with the MySQL extension (including its upcoming deprecation). The article then gets into the basics of MySQLi and how to do things like make a connection and run a few queries. There's also a bit about prepared statements and the built-in ability to do "multi-queries" (complete with rollbacks).