Development Web Servers

Nothing is more valuable for web development than a test environment, although most people do not want to host a web server on their PC all the time. For developers of web documents and apps that use LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP), there are some great options for creating a development environment on your PC without installing any software.  Here are a few examples.


  • This is a great all in one software package that contains Apache, PHP, mySQL, PHPmyAdmin, and SMTP.  It is one executable and has a control panel accessible from the system tray.


  • This web server software is downloadable in different configurations.  The web site will allow you to configure the software and then download the pre-configured package. They offer lots of preconfigured packages with options including phpMyADmin, Wordpres, Drupal, and many others.


  • XAMPP has been around for a long time.  It’s a very well put together instance of a LAMP server.  It can be installed or run from any file location.  THe installation option sets apache and other softeware to run as services.  It also features a nice control panel.

Portable Apps

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One of my newest likings on the computer front is the simplest idea, yet it just makes so much sense.  Portable apps are a wonderful way to take your favorite programs with you wherever you go.  I’ve always hated how so many programs these days either depend on the operating system too much or install so much bloat into the operating system in order to integrate the software.  One prime example is Adobe.  Portable apps on the other hand demonstrate ideaology I think all developers should follow – keep the program independent of the OS.  An operating system should manage files and system operations, not support your software.  The software should run on top of the OS, independent of what extras the OS has or its configuration.

Portable apps are also great for …well….portability.  There are a lot of little utilities I can carry around on my USB stick to work on friends computers, or work on my projects no matter what computer I’m on.  Most portable apps are open source or free, another great benefit.  I can’t begin to describe how much I appreciate and support developers of open source software.   Unfortunately, one may notice that a lot of the great open source software out there is being bought up by companies that want to reap monetary benefits from their users.

So, that’s my spill on portable apps and open source software.  Now to give some listings of where to find this software.  Click on the second tab on this post to see some links to web sites that catalog lots of portable apps available for free download.

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Gustav Blows

…quite literally.  I’m sure there is not much more I can say on the subject that the news hasn’t said.  Unfortunately, the national media has not said much for Baton Rouge.  You would think Baton Rouge is the ugly sister of a beautiful and developed New Orleans.  They look at New Orleans making out okay and didn’t even want to look in our direction.  Our town is a disaster area.  This is going to be the longest effort for power restoration that many people will ever remember.  

Gas, propane, power, and food are difficult to obtain.  Right after the storm, there was a lull of diagnosis.  People came out of their homes to look at the damage and assess what was still standing.  After this lull began the hunt for resources.  There were two types of people out the second day after the storm – people that had no resources, or greedy poeple that hoarde resources.  I dislike both.  One is ignorant, the other is greedy.  

About the third day, we ran out of propane.  Our ice was still cold, but the refrigerator was not cold anymore.  We still had lots of canned goods, but without some propane we had no way to cook them.  About this time I got word that my company had accomodations for us in Shreveport.  We left quickly. It made no sense to stick around in a town that you have to wait in 4 hour or longer lines for gas, can’t find propane, and there were limited places to find food.  

Baton Rouge is taking a long time to recover.  It is almost a week later, and there is at least another week to go before we see any return to a thought of normalcy.  The neighborhood that my parents live in is expected to take up to 3 weeks to get power back.  Imagine not having power for that amount of time and still being expected to work and carry on with your life.  I like camping, but not that much!

So, for anyone reading this, keep positive thoughts for us Baton Rouge folks.  We have a long road ahead of us.