Apache won’t start – Skype to blame!

From time to time I use a local Apache/php server. Now my idea was to design a function to compute a score for a particular text string based on an algorithm I’m designing. This score would help decide whether the text is a valid human Name, or is just a spam-bot nickname.

Currently I have WAMP installed. Extremely lightweight application, this package brings everything you together: apache, php, mysql and a nice control panel interface.

I was surprised to see the server will not start. Also the status ICON was showing that the server is off, despite my attempts of restarting it. All I was getting in my browser was an empty page. But the browser seemed to be connecting to something (no connection error):

Intrigued since I was aware of no “server” running on my machine, I used netstat to see a list of open ports and the PIDs of the processes using them:

netstat -anop TCP

Here are the results:

As you can see Skype was holding the port 80 open! Why? How? I never acknowledged this when I installed Skype! So I quit Skype and probably will be uninstalling it too. For now, no more Skype Autostart, that’s for sure.

Killing Skype solves the problem immediately:

You draw the conclusion. It would be a good idea to think twice when installing “bells and whistles” software like Skype, Messengers, and others.

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