Even though my programming weapon of choice is .NET C#, there are times (unfortunate times!) where I need to dabble in a bit if PHP. Being a .NET developer means I do not have the setup to run PHP based sites such as Apache and MySQL.
In the past I have tried to create an Apache configured server but I could never get it running 100% - possibly because I didn't have the patience or could justify the additional time required for setup when I could be working on a PHP site once in a blue moon...
Last year, I came across a program called EasyPHP that allowed me to install a local instance of Apache and MySQL altogether in just one installation. It made it really to get up and running without all the setup and configuration hassle.
Once installed you can create numerous websites and MySQL instances in a version of your own choosing. Wicked! I never been so excited about PHP in my life!
I have only scratched the surface on the features EasyPHP provides and whenever I did need to use it, there has always been great improvements. Take a look at their site for more information:http://www.easyphp.org.
So if you're a Windows man who needs to carry out PHP odds and ends, can't recommend EasyPHP enough.