You can have .local hostnames translated to IP addresses by installing Bonjour on the source machine i.e. the (windows) machine doing the lookup.
Saved me the trouble of changing the IP of my Powerbook in Synergy configuration on the Windows machine every time I got allocated a new one.
Doesn’t matter if you are part of a Windows domain, not part or whatever – just install Bonjour and you are good to go. That is the beauty of Bonjour.