i have the same book bro.
Okay your not going to be able to acess localhost untill you start the server. Go to start > programs > apachefriends > xampp > xampp_start
this will open a dos windowm and your default browser.
DO NOT CLOSE THE DOS WINDOW
next, in the web browser, type http://localhost
put your script in a sub directory in the ttpddocs foler. so the url would be:
that should get you started.
O and im new to this too. i started learning php last month.