localhost is always the local computer. There is no way to change it for a PC to point at you apache server etc. The easiest way to make all pc's in a small netowkr see the server by name is create a hosts file with the ip adress and a hostname for the server on each PC.
you need to ensure your server is named and available on the network
if its a windows system look for the proprties tab on the network set the host name to whatever
depends on your network infrastructre as to whether you are running using Hosts & LMHosts or some other suthentication system (LDAP Active Directory etc) presumably your network trolls can help you out with that one.
remember to do the grants for the the users. if the only users are goping to be from you local network you can probably get away with doing a grant by IP address
grant typeofaccess on databasename to '%'@192.168.1 identified by 'password';
But i'd think very very carefully before granting any uncontrolled access to users, might allow view but doubt would allow change or delete, and defiantely not alter or drop permissions
if you are planning to access the app from a program eg VB or Access then you could propbably restrict the grant to a specified user
The network is very small (connected through a hub). The "server" would be a computer that is always on.
Access to the database would be through PHP pages, and Internet Explorer. I was thinking that I could connect to the database through the PHP script through one username and password, and let everyone view the pages.
Would it work if I made the htdocs file available to all the connected computers?
I think, I make the some I home a server (not apatci) with php and mysql, the others can view my php files by Int. Explorer via http://yourservername/folder/... I think you may do the some, look at server's IE:http//localhost ?
I have no experience with apatci, so...
If you are planning to make your data available through a web interface using PHP (or any other scritping language for that matter) then you only need one userid for the script to talk to the database.
However if you are allowing updates, or have sensitive informaiton you may need to structure your access using userid's and passwords. As you (probably) would for any database application.
Its not a quick and easy fix, developing the site from scratch. Its a great method of deployting reporting and querying, but probably less use for data entry.