There is a file /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf
or httpd2.conf which configures Apache. The location may vary according to distro and depending on which version of Apache you are using In that file there is a line that will read something like:
This tells Apache where you will place your web pages. You can change the default if you want. In that directory is index.shtml which is what you see when you point your browser at 127.0.0.1. Create your own index.html and place it there and see the difference
As for Hal, yes, it can be very frustrating. I am thinking of promoting my status to advanced newbie. I am certainly no expert. I have had a lot of help from a lot of strangers. That is one of the best things about Linux.