Noob question

I just got the Sparkfun 8x8 RGB matrix. I am wondering exactly how i need to hook this thing up to the arduino. I’ve taken a look at this:
but i want to make sure this schematic won’t do damage to my arduino or matrix before i hook it up. Any suggestion or better references?

The method described in the link you posted is correct - in principle. Also if you use the proper current limiting resistors for the LEDs (different for R,G,B) you can’t fry it (or the arduino). Unless of course you short something directly, but we don’t do that here.

You need to make sure to adapt the code to the actual pinout of your matrix. Consult the datasheet. Also RGB matrices have more pins to drive, 32 that is. With that method you cannot drive the whole matrix as you’re running out of pins. You could get a MEGA board or have a look at using shift registers. The playground has info on them.

There are also posts about driving RGB LED matrices with shift registers in the forum. Unfortunately the pinout of the sparkfun LED matrix is unnecessarily weird (and that’s the mother of an euphemism) and the code won’t work with it without some adjustments.

Shift Registers are the easiest way to control an RGB Matrix. Just rejig your wiring to fit whatever type of matrix you are using. I am pretty certain the Sparkfun RGB Matrix uses a common anode array.