I read a website (http://blogbuildingu.com/wordpress/install-wordpress-wlmp) that indicated I could install wordpress on my XP laptop computer as a local host for website development. So I tried to use lightTPD with MySQL and php-cgi, which sofar has gotten me nowhere after 2-3 days. I can get the localhost to run, but I cannot put wordpress in lighttpd's htdocs directory and establish a database for some reason, and apparently nobody at wordpress is familiar enough with this type of install to help a rank amateur like me. And lightTPD expressly does not provide tech support for windows.
So maybe someone can suggest a better route for me. Perhaps xampp or something similar?