Nik Rawlinson writing on Cnet has posted a useful walk through “How to install and test WordPress on a local server” on Cnet.
“Fortunately it’s simple (and free) to set up a local server on your PC or Mac using Wamp or Mamp. Here we’ll walk you through the steps involved in doing this on each platform, so that you can develop in private and launch your new online presence only when you’re good and ready.
Windows users need to download the server software from wampserver.com/en/download.php, choosing the 32-bit or 64-bit version as appropriate. Mac users should head to mamp.info. Wamp installs on the PC at c:\wamp, while Mamp installs in the Mac’s Applications folder.”