The Uniform Server is simply Awesome

I’m a masochist at heart.

I used to install everything, bit by bit, configure, test, tweak … until I had a complete WAMP localhost development server. The 4 cornerstones: Apache, mySQL, PHP, phpMyAdmin, and even ActivePerl.

Then there were the upgrades. Hours and hours of tedious fun.
After a while, the fun factor began to wear rather thin. By the time Apache 2.2 and PHP5 were out, I’d had enough.
Also, the whole shebang was pretty slow. Working with WordPress and a collection of themes, the lag in execution was approaching snail pace. It was faster working online, on my webhost server.

I had never been a fan of WAMP kits. They were usually ugly to install, never worked just right; even caused problems. I was a DIY woman, after all, and proud of it!

Well, no longer. I actually have work to do, and would also like to take the dogs out for their walks.

I looked at XAMPP, and it was pretty good, but still didn’t convince me entirely.

Then I discovered the UniServer – and you know when it’s love at first sight. Version 3.2 worked out of the box for me; and the current 3.3 does so too (both on the laptop and the desktop).

The Uniform Server is incredibly lean, runs much much faster than my painstakingly cobbled-together hand-crafted WAMP system, is simply clever in design … and doesn’t require any installation apart from unzipping the file somewhere!
You can take it with you on a USB flash drive. 🙂

I finally spend time again doing development work locally, and enjoy it. Because I don’t have to even think about localhost. It’s just there and simply works.

My Essential Tools List

After the last Windows re-install on the laptop, I decided to stay mean and lean and only install software I consider absolutely essential. I started keeping a list, as I hauled my favourite apps onto the hard drive; and thought I might as well share it here.
Since this is not something ephemeral (like your average blog entry), I have dedicated a whole page to it.
You’ll find it under tools.

I’ll keep adding to it and editing it, but there’s enough there I reckon for interest/discussion for now.

All E-Mail Sucks?

Looks like there is lots to think about when choosing an email client on the Mac platform … no different to Windows in that respect.
All E-Mail Sucks

That’s the only really truly awkward transition I’m facing: How to get my mail from my Windows client to a future Mac client?
I’ve been using the awesome (but flawed) TheBat! for as long as I can remember (that’s 1997). This means the mail database is locked into a proprietary format.
Ugh … I’m not gonna think too much about it now, or I’ll scream.
Another reason (or: nail in the coffin) for turning away from commercial/proprietary formats and to open-source file formats.