1st - you can't just adopt pieces of PHP (I'm speaking of executables) from one install (server and OS) to another - long story - no time to tell you details, you may presume I am right if you choose to.
here is YOUR answer - and it has nothing to do with the PHP executable.
For youe local installation - provided you local Joomla install will work on YOUR machine without the Bluehost mucky-muck .htaccess file - (you could test by just removing the parts giving trouble) -
You simply have to change the naming convention for AccessFileName on your local machine. Apache doesn't REALLY care what the .htaccess file is called - you could call it .htaccesslocal if you wanted.
SO - you change the name of the file that Apache will look for Directives in, leave the Bluehost .htacess file as it is. (you aren't gpoing to be loading multiple versions of PHP), What ever else is in the .htaccess file - you put in your Access file (which could be .htaccesslocal) If you have things like mod_rewrite directives they may be preserved in the access file for your local server. Your XAMPP server will now IGNORE the BlueHost thingy - so no problems there - and obey teh directives in the local version of an Access file.http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.0/mod/co ... ssfilename
AFAIK - XAMPP uses the Apache default -- .htaccess, so you probably won't find an AccessFileName directive in the /xampp/apache/httpd.conf. Its Context is Server or Vhost - so it could be placed in in the httpd.conf file. I don't think it matters the location, but I would place it after the declaration of the DocumentRoot
To make the access file name .htaccesslcoal:
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I recoomend you use something that begins with .ht due tio this FilesMatch - that keeps folks from DL'ing or reading your .htaaccess or .htpasswd files:
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Deny from all
BTW the BlueHost server will ignore your file (as it doesn't care about .htaccesslocal) so you can completely sync the folders.