I’ve been thinking for a long time about how nice it would be to have my own private wiki for notetaking and general thought collection. I’d want to be able to access it offline (for taking notes in classes where I don’t have a wireless connection) and I wouldn’t want anyone besides me to have access. I’ve used a few freeware note programs — some even patterned after wikis — but none of them compare remotely to MediaWiki.
So, I did something I’ve never done before: I installed “Apache”:http://www.apache.org, “PHP“:http://www.php.net, and “MySQL”:http://www.mysql.com on my laptop. Many people do this for web-development purposes, but I’ve never seen much use in that since I have PHP and MySQL on my web server. I’ve always just tested my stuff live. Installing them was so much easier than I thought, and now I’m wondering why I never did this before.
I hit a few snags early on which I could’ve avoided if I’d just read the manuals better. I figured installing the latest versions would be the best way to do things. Unfortunately, the latest versions don’t exactly know how to talk to each other. After figuring out the latest stable versions of each program, I got much farther.
So now I have my own wiki. I’ve also installed a blog for private journaling, and I’ll probably start using the local server for development, too. If you haven’t done this there’s really no reason to wait. It was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done.
fn1. One notetaking/organization software I haven’t tried is “Microsoft OneNote”:http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/FX010858031033.aspx. My dad’s been using it and seems to be happy with it. Just the other day I found out I can download an academic copy for free through the Microsoft Developer’s Network Academic Alliance at my school, so I may get a copy just to try it out.