If you are using windows (with XAMPP) to develop your MySQL applications, you might currently be using phpMyAdmin for your DBA tasks. The phpMyAdmin package is an awesome tool and is a must have, however due to the fact that it runs under Apache and PHP – it can be tricky to use when dealing with big database dumps or other heavy processing.
At this stage, you may decide that the best thing to do is to hit the command line. That’s fair enough if you don’t mind using command line applications. If however you fancy keeping it GUI, then I can highly recommend using the free community edition of SQLyog.
This open source community edition is a free version of their main Enterprise Edition software which is paid for. If you are doing a lot of DBA work then you may want to consider supporting this company by handing over some cash for the fully featured software. The enterprise edition can handle external as well as local MySQL database administration, using SSH, SSL or HTTP/HTTPS tunnelling. It features all kinds of GUI functionality for building your database schema and designing queries. For the serious DBA’s out there it may well be worth a look.
For the occasional big DB import / export session on the local windows host though, the community edition does seem to suffice.
You can download both the community and the enterprise edition here:
To compare functionalty check out this page:
My favourite platform for web development has to be Ubuntu Linux. As a desktop system to work on (rather than play) I think it is unsurpassed. However there are some times that you really need to use windows. For example my laptop seems to refuse to install Ubuntu which means that I am forced to stick with windows XP for the time being. However windows can be a perfectly adequate web development environment.
One of the trickiest aspects of web development on windows used to be setting up the Apache, MySQL and PHP stack. However this is no longer the case thanks to the wonderful little package called XAMPP. This is short for XP, Apache, MySQL, PHP and Perl.
Xampp allows you to run a webserver on your local computer. This allows for superfast editing and checking of your web application. Anyone who has repeatededly edited and FTP’ed a file to a webserver will know that it can quickly become a pain and definitely slows down your performance as a programmer.
By editing the file locally and simply refreshing your web browser you can quickly see how your web design is looking or ensure that your PHP is not throwing any errors etc.
Furthermore, using XAMPP allows you to start and stop the entire web server stack easily from one simple control panel.
Download XAMPP from here
The hosts file is a highly useful little text file that most people are not really aware of. Basically what it does is set a specific url to an IP address that you specify. This is great for testing web server etc. Also, we can block unwanted content by changing the IP address for the URLs that the adverts are coming from. The convention is to change the IP address to 127.0.0.1 which basically means the local computer itself.
Editing the HOSTS File
Your hosts file can usually be found in
it is a text file, but does not have .txt at the end – it has no dot at all.
To edit it in XP, simply right click the file and select to open in notepad. Make your edits then save the file. For your edits to work you will generally have to restart whichever programmes you wanted to change the behaviour of.
Editing the HOSTS File in Windows Vista
The HOSTS file is much more secured under Windows Vista. This is fair enough because malicious changes to your HOSTS file could set you up for all kinds of things such as phishing attempts etc. However it does make it a bit more tricky for you to edit it yourself.
Heres how to do it:
1) Browse to Start -> All Programs -> Accessories
2) Right click “Notepad” and select “Run as administrator”
3) Click “Continue” on the UAC prompt
4) Click File -> Open
5) Browse to “C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc”
6) Change the file filter drop down box from “Text Documents (*.txt)” to “All Files (*.*)”
7) Select “hosts” and click “Open”
8) Make the needed changes and close Notepad. Save when prompted.
Block MSN Messenger Adverts.
I am not a big fan of in your face adverts, especially within applications. MSN messenger adverts are easy to get rid of though. All we need to do is edit the hosts file, save it and then restart the program.
1.) Open your HOSTS file for editing
2.) Paste the following into the bottom of your HOSTS file:
# Windows Live Messenger ad servers
3.) Save Your HOSTS File
4.) Restart MSN Messenger