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Hostnames are generally used to name computers localy on your own network. Top level domain names need to be registered and are therefir visible to all internet users with access to a DNS server. You can use the /etc/hosts or C:\windows\hosts files (locations may be different on other systems) to create easy to remember names rather than ip addresses. eg. puting:
in all your clients hosts files would let you connect to your intranet server by typing "intranet" in your browser's address bar or telneting to it rather than using a hard to remember ip.
Red Hat 7.3 actually the file is /home/larry/etc/ with "larry"being the name of the software,the file is set up to accept responses or queries when sending mail(at least thats how I understand it) it is using Qmail