I am learning mod rewrites and finding it difficult where to start.

If someone can show me sample code for the following, I think that will help:

(1) Simple redirect when they enter www.site.com/view.html to view the page on the server: www.site.com/pages/view.php

(2) Simple redirect like 1 but to append a variable. So they enter www.site.com/jim-brown and I want it to use www.site.com/profile.php?nm=jim-brown

I know most people will say I need to learn it myself but this will help me start.