I become an übergeek

Spent part of the weekend installing Apache and mySQL on my laptop to turn it into a “web development platform”. If you’d have spoken to me even a year ago, I would never have believed I could have written such a thing. 

It was kind of easier than you’d think, given that most of my experience with computers has been of the cuddly Mac OS variety (apart from some possibly useful exposure to MS-DOS back in the 18th century late 1980s).

That’s largely due to the impeccably well-produced documentation for the XAMPP software that does the heavy lifting of the installation. But I did have a WTF? moment during the process.

  • Step 1 – “Simply click on the link below.” Yep, that’s fine.   
  • Step 2 – “Doubleclick to start the installation.” Mmm – with you so far. 
  • Step 3 – “After installing simply type in the following commands to start XAMPP for MacOS X:

Go to a Terminal shell and login as the system administrator root:sudo su
To start XAMPP simply call this command:/Applications/XAMPP/xamppfiles/mampp start

  • Step 4 – “uh…”

Thankfully we have the internet, and as long as you are  prepared to sit by the computer cursing for 15 minutes while you sift through the sluice of the web’s variable quality advice, you are almost bound to find the solution you need. 

So – after a bit of experimentation with Apple’s Terminal application [for which even the Wikipedia entry linked to here is nigh incomprehensible], I managed to get the web server up and running and then went crazy and installed Joomla, Drupal and, for a bit of light relief, the full WordPress software. 

I’ll probably migrate this blog to fully hosted WordPress in time, mainly to get control of the template and add some plugin goodness. First I get to learn how to create a site in one of the oh-so popular modular CMS systems around.

I had thought I’d start with Joomla, as it’s supposed to be easier to learn. But then, for that reason, I thought I’d actually try to crack Drupal first. It’s the system that publishing companies would probably opt for if they go for a non-custom CMS, which makes it more useful to know from a freelance perspective. 

I’ll update with progress reports as I start to make any…

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