Here are the steps to set up a local version of Drupal.
1. Get the newest version of MAMP
2. Get the newest version of Drupal
3. Unzip Drupal in your htdocs folder in your Mamp folder
4. Rename whatever the unzipped file is to “Drupal”
5. Create a blank file in a program like TextWrangler and name it settings.php
6. Add 666 to the privaleges in this file
7. Put this file in your drupal/sites/default/ folder
8. Launch Mamp
9. Hit the Open Start Page button
10. Hit the phpMyAdmin button
11. Enter a name for your database in the space under “Create new Database”
12. Where it says “Collation” scroll down and select utf8_unicode_ci
13. do all of the items in step 4 (and only step 4) shown here
14. point your browser to http://localhost:drupal
Follow the install instructions.
TOTAL pain in the ass, but it does work.