I recently rediscovered the TUGboat archives
There is a really interesting article in the 2007 archives
"A beginner's guide to METAPOST for creating high-quality graphics", the article points to a metapost previewer at
Any newbie experimenting with MetaPost should use the previewer, it's fun and easy and of-course one need not worry about the installation details.
Part of the inspiration for looking up TUGboat came from Kevin Larson's article on the Technology of Text. The article is well written, but it completely ignores TeX and METAFONT. That reminds me, time for a letter to the editor.