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Why is it such a pain in the butt!

All I want to do is try out PhpBB & Mercuryboard on my home PC before I decide which 1 to upload to my site. Why does it have to be such a pain to use PHP locally?
I've read various posts here & on other forums saying download this, or download that. So I've downloaded them (Xitami, Abyss, Xampp, JSAS, & fek knows what else) only to find they won't run or, in some cases, won't even install, as there's a port conflict, or I have to bugger about with config files, password files and hell knows what else.
I've got MySQL, I've got PHP, I've got the BB software. Why the hell can't I just run it!
I don't want my PC to be a web server. I don't want to have to disable my firewall just to install something. I don't want to muck about with config files, password files, port switching, or christ knows what else. I just want to test some software. Is that too much to ask?
Every other programming language or runtime environment I've got on my PC (& believe me, I've got a lot... from BASIC & COBOL through to C++ and assemblers, VB, Java, & loads more), I can associate a filetype with it, double click on the file I want & hey presto, it works. If the software can't find something, it asks me where it is, I locate it, click on it & that's all that's needed. I've got other apps that use MySQL & I can do it with them. Why can't I have that with PHP?
I don't know PHP, I don't know anything about Apache, I don't know about web servers... I don't particularly want to know about them as it's not something I intend getting involved with. I don't even need to learn PHP to use the BB programs I want to run; & anything I may want to do in PHP, I can easily find ready-made scripts for.
I want a quick, easy way to try out the BB software. That's all. It's over a week since I downloaded it & I haven't been able to get anywhere near it yet. Anyone got any ideas? I'm at my wits' end with this now.
I am not sure if this will help you but you might want to read my post here about Xerver and installing php to use with it. It's actually quite easy to set easy your grandma could do it.
Woah... You don't have to mess around with neither your firewall nor any ports. Atleast I didn't... I didn't understand PHP at the time of installation. I don't have a clue about webservers. All I know is clicking the "Start" to start apache and "Stop" to stop apache.

Windows Home Edition cannot use IIS... so I just use Apache 2.
Install Apache2 -> Install PHP -> Install SQL -> Add a Few Lines in the .config and .ini files -> Install PHPadmin -> Done.

If you follow tutorials step-by-step, there should no problem. I thought it was easy to set up... I remember adding about 3 lines and editing 2 lines to the config and ini files altogether. Or maybe I'm robotic-like and good at executing instructions. Shocked

If you get an error while viewing localhost, just google it. And puff, there's a guarantee you're not the first one ever have that error.

That's how I do things, but it never failed me. It could be time consuming sometimes.

When I'm setting the local server up, I learned # is used for commenting. I'm too good. Cool
NewGuyinTown - I can't even get Apache installed. Every time I try I get "port 433 is blocked". I don't even want it accessing any bloody ports! But assuming I could install it, are you saying I've got to re-install PHP & MySQL under Apache? PHP wouldn't be too much of a problem, but I've got lots of apps on my PC that use relative to paths to MySQL DBs. I don't want the hassle of going through all those and changing them beause I've had to move MySQL.
appsapps - OK, I'll give it a try. I've already tried Xitami, Abyss, Xaamp, JSAS and PHPEdit, and either they won't install or I can't get php working in them.
I have never encountered a port blocked from an installation that is done on a local computer... Sounds kind of silly that the adminstrator/root does not have access to its ports... I'm not really an expertise at this, anyways.

But I have encountered this before: another service was running on that port.

If that is your problem, you should turn whichever service is running on that port off.

The order of installation has no effect. And does all four of those give you the same problem?

Which Operating System are you using? If OS = XP Professional, perhaps IIS is running on port 433?

I remembered the first time I tried to do this, IIS, Apache, and Abyss were all listening to the same port. So, I can only have one of those services running.

If it's not this, then it is probably beyond my grasp of computer networking.
I have now given up. Sad
I've followed everyone's advice, done everything that was suggested, downloaded all the servers etc that were recommended, read all the help files, and followed the installation instructions to the letter. I actually managed to access an index.php file last night with Xerver running... WOO-HOO! In that it said that I needed php5 to run the BB. As I only had php4 I followed that recommendation, installed php5 properly in the same directory the old version was in, and now nothing works again.
As far as I can tell, all the config files are set up properly (at least, according to the help files they are).
I've had enough. I have never in my life had this kind of problem with a PC. All I want to do is check a BB system. I've got all the necessary parts (servers, php, MySQL, BB programs) but they just won't work together. I am sick to the back teeth with it all.
I'm not a computer novice - I've got a BSc in computer science & I've been working with computers since 1979. Nor am I a beginner with DBs. I've designed and programmed some huge DB apps (they don't come much bigger than the maintenance management system for Eurotunnel!)using relational (Oracle, Ingres, MySQL), codasyl+ & heirarchical DB systems, and I worked as a DB consultant in the late 80s. Anything else I've wanted to do on a PC, I've managed to get it sorted even if it meant writing my own assembler routines. But this has got me beat. I've now deleted all the servers and every trace of php from my PC. In the time it's taken trying to get this working I could have written my own DBMS & BB!
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