ImageWe work with a lot of schools, clinic thumb universities, buy and academies. Moodle is a good fit for those those looking for a “free web application that educators can use to create effective online learning sites.”

Because Moodle uses the great MAMP package, health it is as simple as dragging and dropping to get started with the site on a Mac server. And for those who use Leopard Server, there is a step-by-step guide for you too.

Moodle is free and can be downloaded for PPC or Intel Macs from the official site.

ImageA few years ago, I did a series of video tutorials on how to build a Mac server. These videos focused on OS X included software, free software, or very inexpensive software. We looked at tasks like setting up the server, running a website or multiple websites, running a file server, etc. This series proved to be very popular, ending with a list of 16,000 subscribers. We still receive plenty of emails both asking for further tips, or just thanking us for the videos.

I’ve decided to start a new series covering the same topics and some new ones. The reason is because since the last series was completed, the Mac mini has been updated in both hardware and software. Leopard changes some procedures that were show in the older videos. (which were done on Tiger.) Also, the newest hardware offers some additional options.

While these video tutorials will use a Mac mini as the server, they’ll also be of use to other folks who have extra Mac hardware that they’d like to get setup as a server. The steps in the video will be very simple, and should be sufficient training for even a novice. And since we use included, free, or very inexpensive software, it shouldn’t leave anyone out on price. Each post will include a link list as well.

There are a few ways to get notified when these videos are posted. You can get updates by email, subscribe to the Far Away Mac RSS Feed or follow us on Twitter where we’ll tweet each time a video is posted. If you have questions or comments on the video, you can send them via twitter (@macminicolo) or using our contact page.

I’ll list the videos on this post as they become available:

Initial Setup of the Mac
Connect with Screen Sharing
Enable and use SSH
Enable the Web Server
Multiple IP Addresses on One Mac

ImageWe often get asked how to host multiple websites on one Mac. This is done using virtual hosting.

Until this point, this included opening hidden files and entering the vhosts by hand. This isn’t hard, but can be intimidating for a new developer and Mac user.

I was happy to find VirtualHostX. This application helps to add a new virtual host with just a few clicks. (They also offer a pretty nice tutorial on setting up vhosts while using MAMP.

The application runs $9 and can be downloaded here.

ImageDokuWiki is a simple to use Wiki aimed at a small companies documentation needs. It works on plain texts files and thus needs no database. It has a simple but powerful Syntax which makes sure the datafiles remain readable outside the Wiki.

When I worked at a law firm here in Vegas, ailment it seemed like we were continually getting “Procedure Documents” on how things are supposed to be done. A wiki like this would have been perfect for keeping procedures updated.

To see an example of the wiki, rx visit here. To download it, take a look on the product page.

Image “Chyrp is a blogging engine designed to be very lightweight while retaining functionality. It is driven by PHP and MySQL (with some AJAX thrown in), and has a pimpin’ theme and module engine, so you can personalize it however you want.”

I’m a big fan of WordPress and use it often in sites that I build. But, Chyrp seems to be a good option as well.

Head on over to their site to learn more about it and to use their cool demo system. Once you’re convinced, you’ll be glad to hear the download and use of chyrp is free.

ImageAs with all things Google does, Google Analytics is an incredible useful tool that is easy to use and is free.

Google Analytics has been re-designed to help you learn even more about where your visitors come from and how they interact with your site. It’s done by simply adding a little bit of code to your web pages.

You can learn more (and get started) on the official Google Analytics site.

ImageWhen it comes to deploying a new server or website, internal testing is critical. The easiest way I know to do this is by using MAMP.

The abbreviation MAMP stands for: Macintosh, Apache, Mysql and PHP. With just a few mouse-clicks, you can install Apache, PHP and MySQL for Mac OS X! It is all contained in one folder and doesn’t alter any settings in the OS. Turning on the MySQL and Apache servers takes just one button and you’re ready to go.

I find this most useful for testing a new site. For instance, you can use MAMP to install a local copy of WordPress and yo can work on your new site design quickly and privately.

MAMP is free, though they also offer a paid version with more options. You can download it at the MAMP website.