Well, your first problem was downloading netbeans to try and learn java. Also note that you are writing desktop client applications and Struts has nothing to do with the desktop. Struts is a web based MVC framework for developing web applications.
The best thing for you to do is slow down a bit. You've asked a quite scattered question and there are too many things to comment on. Your best bet at this point is to take one issue and ask about that. For example:
but get very frustrated by not being able to link items in say a JComboBox to their various JTabbedPanes or new windows(other containers),which I can then go on designing to create a usable application
If you could elaborate on that a bit more, give us some background to the application, and pinpoint a more precise point of confusion we can begin to help. It also might help to read through some of the links located here which discusses important information about how to ask question on JavaRanch.
Hi. Fisrt things first. I bought the book �Mastering Java2 (J2SE 1.4) by John Zukowski.Complete with a companion cd. That's what i started learning Java from. Then went on to download netbeans hoping to make life easier, and the learning curve better. What i am working on is a small farm-office application where i have a list of activities/farm operations in a JComboBox (too big for JButtons) in a JDesktopPane. From this list,i would like to be able to select an entry/item and have the programm open a new JTabbedPane or JDesktopPane which will contain the appropriate data for the activity. Any help in this direction will be grestly appreciated. Mike