As we have the online discussion session for SICP 1.1 in one week from
today, here are some thoughts on best ways to prepare:
In order of priority, I'd recommend:
1. Read section 1.1
2. Type in the examples as you go along; this is a great way to
familiarize yourself with the details of the Scheme language
that will underlay everything that is to follow.
3. Try to tackle the problems. As far as the problems go:
a. 1.1, 1.2, and 1.4 are intended to get you thinking in a
Scheme-like way. If you haven't used a Scheme- or Lisp-like
programming language before, try to figure these out mentally
before entering them into your REPL.
b. 1.5 and 1.6 highlight further details of Scheme's evaluation
strategy. Refer back to the text for details on applicative
order vs. normal order. These terms won't play a huge role
as the book progresses, but once you've got the ideas sorted
out, there's not much left that will confuse you as far as
Scheme's syntax goes.
c. 1.3, 1.7, and 1.r8 have you write code; these are the most
important. Definitely give them a go.
4. If you have time, you can also watch online lectures associated with
this section. You have at least three options::
a. SICP lectures at HP in 1985. Lecture 1A by Gerald Sussman:
b. The Holly Yanco/John Pezaris videos from Ars Digita University
ca. 2000. Annoyingly, these require a Real Media-capable player.
c. Brian Harvey's Lectures for Berkeley CS 61A, Spring 2011
Hope this helps,