Since Chris24 twittered that he hates MAMP, I had to come to MAMP’s defense.
For a long time I never saw any reason to use MAMP, since I used the standard system installation of Apache & PHP with MySQL installed via mysql.com’s installer package. After using MAMP for a while I came to appreciate it and I finally upgraded to MAMP Pro.
With MAMP or MAMP Pro, you can start Apache only when you need it, rather than having it run all the time and waste memory. MAMP’s bundled version of Apache also takes less virtual memory than the standard 64-bit version.
One of the major advantages of MAMP over the system standard Apache/PHP setup is that it lets you easily switch between PHP 4 & 5 and enable Zend Optimizer with eAccelerator or XCache.
MAMP Pro also gives you a nice user interface for enabling & disabling Apache modules.