Thank you for the welcome JavaPF. I've only been at Java now for about a month. I began learning it solely for this project. I don't believe I have a solid foundation and am currently using an IDE as a crutch. Eventually I'd like to get away from that and begin to truly understand what is happening behind the scenes. The powers that be requested a quick solution for this project and as such I wasn't given much time.
All-in-all I am becoming happier with Java but still have some nagging issues with the language. The inability to switch on a string value, for one. The second being, reloading an applet that has been updated without closing the browser. I know the trick about pressing 'x' in the console window but my users aren't able to view the console based on policy restrictions on their pc. Aside from those 2 issues, I think my progress is going well.
If you have any advice, please feel free to share it regardless of how trivial. I'm always eager to try new things. Oh, for the record, I am using NetBeans as my IDE and am developing for Java 1.5 (I really wish they would update that at work). Thanks again