I'm trying to learn PHP but without a local host server it's a drag. I want to install Apache, MySQL and PHP on my local machine. I've tried WAMP5, EasyPHP and at least one other all-in-one package without success. One or the other of the products won't work properly - usually MySQL. I HAVE been successful getting Apache to run to the extent that it will serve up any pages I host there. I suspect that I have an application or version conflict, but don't know how to verify the fact or what to do about it if I do.
I have a 3.GHz machine with 2 GB RAM and almost a terabyte of hard disk space, and I'm using Crimson Editor, Firefox 2.0 and occasionally IE to see how things look. The OS is Win XP Pro SP-2. I am granted access to Her Ladyship's system when I need to ensure a distinct login to verify how something is working on my web site where I'm the Admin.
Can anyone point me to a fail-safe how-to on setting up a development environment and local server using these products? I'm retired; so "FREE" is a very large consideration.