Drupal for Goddamn Idiots

I've long toyed with the idea of writing a book. I mean, I've written a book, but I've long toyed with the idea of using Drupal's "Book" functions to write one. The problem is, I'm a goddamn idiot.
So here's the problem as I see it: You and I are the same. In a way. I'm a goddamn idiot, and you're looking to improve the management, usability, and organization of your content. But you don't know how to start. Follow me, then, let me be your idiot by proxy! I am just the idiot to lead you into the Drupal promised land. You can has good content management, and you don't even have to be smart.

Introduction

An introduction:
There seems to be a fundamental problem with the crux of this article.
If you're looking to install Drupal, chances are good you're not a goddamn idiot. In fact, judging from the general tone of the Drupal-resources on the web, if you want to install Drupal, you're probably some kind of freaking genius.
So let me start off this series of informational how-tos with a short note for you Einsteins watching me from Planet Drupal: We don't all have an army of robot slaves that we knitted just to carry our giant brains around behind us. Some of us working slobs actually have little-to-no-knowledge of how the interwebs work. This is a document for us.
You Drupalwinnians are welcome to parse this series, and by all means, let us know what you think, but when you talk to us, talk slow.

Part One: Whatchew Need.

You may think yourself something of a Drupal master because your Fantastico installation was smooth and easy. And, congratulations to you. Even noodling through a Fantastico install of Drupal can be hard for a goddamn idiot.
Now you're ready to install a copy of Drupal on your local box because you want to do some testing or use some of Drupal's advanced CMS features locally. Good for you.
So, here's what you gotta have on your machine before you start. Think of this list as a "System Requirements." like you might see on the back of your copy of The SIMS 2. If you'd have bought the Sims 2, instead of stealing it off the bittorrents, you bastard.
There is a list of Drupal's Requirements on Drupal.org. It's got a lot of info there and you should read it. It will make you smarter and prettier. The rest of us just install XAMPP.
XAMPP will load your machine up with an Apache, distribution containing MySQL, PHP and Perl, which, along with Drupal source, are the ingredients for delicious Drupal-pie. Souflee. Crepes. Some kind of pastry, anyway.
Part of the reason I was inspired to write this is because I had been struggling along, trying all kinds of crazy and strange ways of getting Apache, MySQL and PHP installed on my mac, when, lo, like a light from the heavens, Steven "Sven" Merrill Suggests XAMPP.

"FWIW, I use XAMPP for OS X. It's just as good as MAMP, but without being crippleware or a supported version."Source

Installing XAMPP was double-click and done. This is exactly the internet at goddamn idiot speeds.
Of course, once something starts to look easy, the harder it really is.

Serve it up! Xampp to go

I'm going to assume that XAMPP solved all your problems. Basically, because I'm a goddamn idiot. It didn't solve mine. There were all kinds of Apache servers still running on my system, some from my half-assed attempts rolling my own, and some from, I suspect, certain unnamed software that tends to be incredibly hostile toward end users, yet is inexplicably popular with designers.
Regardless, after some incredibly brave and incredibly stupid surgical scrapes with root-level "rm" commands, I got XAMPP up and running. (Hint, you're looking for files named "httpd." Sudo wisely, friend.)
Once XAMMPP was up and running, I was lightly amused to see how mad it was at me. Click on the menu item at the top left of the XAMPP page called "Security." XAMPP is a very angry little program. When it thinks you're doing something foolish, it yells at you in red text and treats you like you're a goddamn idiot. This is a good thing, since you're reading this, I assume you are, like I am, a goddamn idiot.

Five out of five conditions: Unsecure.
Lucky you.

Fortunately, if you keep reading after the table, you'll find that the good folks at Apache Friends (the publishers of XAMPP) have offered you a simple, albeit cryptic solution to your security programs.
Simply call /Applications/xampp/xamppfiles/xampp security

"Simply Call," they say. Just like that. "Call."

Ok. Here's where the Goddamn Idiot in me is going to step aside and say something that, if I wasn't a Goddamn Idiot, I would have written at the very start. You should be sure you know what you're exposing yourself to when you put Apache and MySql and all that Xampp goodness on your computer. The default XAMPP install is not very secure, and you want to make sure you're not exposing yourself or your computer to unsavory and untoward places.
If you're not running behind a router, firewall, or in a trusted network, don't install XAMPP until you can secure it. And even then, think twice. Ok? End of lecture.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. "Simply call /Applications/xampp/xamppfiles/xampp security." Simply call. What the hell does that mean?

Finally! We've figured out how to make Xammp Secure!

You'll be happy to know that if you root around on the Internet cutting and pasting random snippets of code into your terminal, eventually you'll realize that there was a typo in the main front page of the MacOS version of Xampp's security page.
Once you've filed a bug report on the matter-- or rather, hunted around on phpfriends.com's website looking for a place to file the bug, but then giving up because you really don't care so much-- go ahead and execute the "call."
That's what they mean, you know? When they say "call." They want you to type a command into the terminal. Fire up your little dictionary and see that "call" in computing means "to cause the execution of (a subroutine.)"
If only they gave you the proper call, you probably could have figured this out all by yourself.

See down at the bottom of the "Security" window in your xampp page? It says:
To fix or close all these matters simply call /Applications/xampp/xamppfiles/xampp security This will start an interactive program.

They mean "mampp."
Seriously.

The bottom of the page, on the MacOS version of Xampp, should say :
To fix or close all these matters simply call /Applications/xampp/xamppfiles/mampp security This will start an interactive program.

Go ahead and paste /Applications/xampp/xamppfiles/mampp security" into your terminal. Amazing. When you call the right file, the right file is called.

Now, let's get some Drupal on.

Part Two: A year later.

Hello old friend. Has it really been a year? Really? More than that? Wow.
It occurs to me that this book, which is only slightly worse than the average drivel found on GameFAQs, has not, so far, been muchly about Drupal. How disappointed you must be. You came here to learn about the world's most robust content management system, and instead, I've subjected you to pages and pages of me trying to wrap my head around stuff I should have paid a man to take care of for me a long time ago. In fact, this manual should probably have been called XAMPP for Goddamn Idiots, ehy? Well, too bad for you.

So let us address this, then. You need to ask yourself this question: Do you know about the stuff that makes the Internet go? You don't have to, but take it from me it helps. If you're going to Drupal, you're going to need to know about some pretty geeky stuff. You'll need to know about php, Apache and mySql, minimally. And, here's the rub, the people who wrote the help files about this stuff are so much smarter than you that you're probably not going understand their help at first.

Maybe you'd be better putting more effort into creating really good content. Content is way more important than the platform, particularly if you're talking about blogging. If you're talking about programming you don't need this book, stupid.

If you insist that you want to know how the Drupal works behind the scenes, and you understand that you're going to have to put up with stupid stuff that would be somebody elses's problem if you used a hosted platform, then, dear reader, read on.

Lets talk about why we might use Drupal at all, then, in the first place. Honestly.