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[1].

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.

8 thoughts on “localhost

  1. I used a tutorial I found at Webmaster Stop.

    That will send you to the right places to download things, but it doesn’t get very specific about which versions to use. I used Apache 2.0.51, PHP 4.3.10, and MySQL 4.0.

    I was able to get everything running with PHP 5.0.3 and MySQL 4.1, but MediaWiki’s Monobook skin isn’t compatible with some of the new directives in PHP 5. After I figured that out, I uninstalled PHP 5 and installed PHP 4.3.10, but then I hit another snag: PHP 4.3 doesn’t support the authentication protocols in MySQL 4.1. Downgrading to MySQL 4.0 solved that problem. I’m not sure what new features I’m missing out on, but MediaWiki is now running great.

    Hope this is helpful.

  2. It worked. I was able to install WordPress successfully. I’ll try MediaWiki and phpBB later.

    I better not use TrackBack URIs in my private blog — it may give everyone a broken link.

    By the way, here’s a screen shot of my private blog:

    I installed MediaWiki, but since redirects don’t work, it sometimes 404s me. Is there a fix for that?

    Could you merge all of those comments? It takes up too much space. (Thanks)

    [EDIT by Joey: This comment was merged from six separate comments and refactored a bit.]

  3. I’ve played around with this some before. It’s kinda cool, but in the end I rather like having my thoughts and such viewable on the web. After playing around with a private wiki for a while, I discovered that I really just use it as a centrelized word processor. Without a spell checker. Really, that’s the only reason I even use a word processor over notepad for most of my daily stuff. :p

  4. Oh, one almost-wiki-blogish-type-thing-but-not-quite I’ve tried out and liked was “Yeah Write” (http://www.yeahwrite.com/)
    It basicly digitizes a notebook, complete with autosave. All you do is pick the right tab and make or edit a new entry. It’s kinda strange, but a neat concept. It’s also anchent, made by the same team that did WordPerfect before Corell bought them out. As a result, it’s kinda showing it’s age. And it’s shareware.

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