This is documentation for installing Apache 1.3.9, PHP 3.011, Perl 5.00502 and MySQL 3.21.29, but should work with ANY recent (or more recent) versions of this software. Note if you have ActiveState for Perl installed, either uninstall it, or skip the installation section below for Perl, simply make sure the the shebang line (the first line of your Perl script) points to the path of the ActiveState file "perl.exe". See more in Step Two below.
The ability to develop locally on my laptop has been a fantastic time saver. Saving, uploading and testing to a remote server is an arduous task. It's easier to develop locally and then upload once everything is tested.
Configuring for Windows is easy, but the documentation for installation from the software companies is hideous.
Here's the Easy Way: (pay very close attention to slashes and back slashes below)

Step One - Grab the Needed Files:

Step Two - Installation of the software:
Step Three - Configuration of the software:
  1. Load the file "C:\program files\Apache Group\Apache\conf\httpd.conf" into a text editor. This is the Apache configuration file. Search for "#ServerName" in the the file (it should be on or around line 232 but the line number may change in future releases) and change this to read:
    ServerName http://localhost
    (note: Be sure to take out the "#" - this is known as a comment mark which basically means 'ignore everything on
    this line')

  2. Around line 458, add this:
    ScriptAlias /php3/ "c:/php3/"

  3. Around line 506, add this:
    AddType application/x-httpd-php3 .php3

  4. Around line 643, add this:
    Action application/x-httpd-php3 "/php3/php.exe"

  5. Around line 239, change
    DocumentRoot "C:/Program Files/Apache Group/Apache/htdocs"
    to point to wherever you'd like your pages served from. I suggest making a directory structure that resembles your remote server set up - usually this means creating a directory in the local C drive like "C:\usr\bin\html\" or something along those lines. All the development work (i.e. - web pages, PHP or Perl scripts) you want Apache to serve must be saved locally under in the directory that follows "DocumentRoot" on this line.
  6. Around line 264 - change the line to point to the same directory tree specified in No. 5 above.

  7. Create a cgi-bin directory for your perl scripts. I recommend this be "/cgi-bin" ABOVE the DocumentRoot path from step 5 above.

  8. Around line 458 (right where we added the PHP config line in step 2 above), add this line:
    ScriptAlias /cgi-bin/ "c:/POINT TO DO PATH TO CGI BIN CREATED IN STEP 7 ABOVE"

  9. At or around line 465 should currently point to "C:/Program Files/Apache Group/Apache/cgi-bin".
    Change the path to point to the same directory in number 8 above.

  10. In a new text editor, create a php test file - something along the lines of <? print "welcome home"; ?> and save this as "index.html" in whatever path you specified in number 5 and 6 above.

  1. Find the file php3-ini-dist in the "C:/php3" directory
  2. Rename it to php3.ini
  3. Load it in a text editor
  4. Search for "extension_dir" (around line 100) in php3.ini and change this
    line to read:
    extension_dir = C:\php3

  5. Change the line (around 115) that reads
    to read

  6. Change the line that reads (around 225)
    ;browscap = extra/browscap.ini
    browscap = C:\windows\browscap.ini
  7. Place this file (php3.ini) in "C:\windows\"
  8. Note above the removal of the ";" line - this is the comment tag for PHP, and must be removed in the above lines.

Step Four - Test The Software