I wrote about EasyPHP a couple of days ago. It’s a Windows installer that gets Apache, MySQL, PHP, and phpMyAdmin running with a minimum of fuss, and provides a simple GUI to start and stop the services. (Visit EasyPHP for details.)
Here’s a brief followup: it works as advertised. After copying the appropriate MySQL databases, Apache configuration files, and PHP configuration settings, I now have a working version of my major websites on my local machine. This should be very useful next time I’m updating a site—the usual cycle of change a few characters, upload, reload browser will be much quicker without the upload, and it might save me from the occasional incident when I mistype something and accidentally bring down a site.
Also, I completely forgot that I ran across XAMPP a while ago. It’s another package that includes Apache, PHP, and MySQL with a single Windows installer. I haven’t tried that one, so I can’t really compare the two. For the moment, EasyPHP works for me.