XAMPP, install PHP+Apache on Windows in 1 minute flat!
I feel like I was probably the last PHP coder on the planet to discover this but there is a wonderful open-source, free project called XAMPP that will let you install php+apache+mysql+optional bunch of other nifty things on your windows machine in under a minute flat. It almost took me longer to download it than to install!
I had made a mental note years ago of the idea of running PHP at home but it always seemed easier to just upload and execute on the remote server. I had remembered “PHPtriad” but it’s not developed anymore and the author has made their new version commercial ($$$).
XAMPP is so neat, it took another 10 seconds to turn on Curl and even has eaccelerator available if you want. It keeps everything in one folder (with sub-folders) and no registry settings so you can even keep it portable on a usb stick if so desired.
Oh and XAMPP is not just for Windows, it comes in Mac, Linux and Solaris flavours.