Hello JavaRanch: hopefully all is lovely across the way;
I am new here and new to JAVA and this is my first post. The whole 'forum' idea is somewhat new to me as well (for real). I already know the following is lengthy (sort of) because I didn't quite figure out the "Add New Topic" button was actually the 'send' button until now. However, there is one element of 'fortuitousness' involved here: I saved the letter. "Hence" 3 hours later...we try again (me & Sybil...)...[a little levity there please]...anyway:
I have recently acquired 'Head Start Java' based on the volume of extremely favorable reviews on Amazon.com. I had been trying to navigate through a different book ("Java Programming", Joyce Farrell, 2nd Edition), and have had some experience as a 'technical editor' (long ago...and meaning I looked for mistakes and inconsistencies in a technical manual and other people agreed that 'yes, indeed', my vetting was plausible...). Once you do this, you will never read a book the same again. Mistakes appear like movie stars*.
Finally, after an exasperating and very time consuming foray into Farrell's book, I tracked Amazon's reviews of said book: 1 star (and for all the right reasons [PLUS the apparently excruciating blunders involving the JAVA aspects of the book]...and of 'dubious reflection on many things of late...' the 2 five star reviews of said book were both anonymous...). So I purchased "Head Start Java" and hence, now I am here.
So what I'm hoping somebody out there might find the time to do is, is explain in baser-than-layman-terms how I might go about getting JDK 5 onto my travel drive and on my netless computer. Is there a disc I can buy somewhere which works kind of like the 1.4 JGRASP disc which came with author Farrell's book. Is that necessary? Should I catagorically uninstall the various things I've installed up to this point (the dreaded 'U' word...). BUT WAIT DEAR READER...I'm not absolutely certain these 'things' are installed...I can access them, they appear, they don't do anything (other than tell me they can't do anything...). So basically I'm lost.
And it's no fun being a JAVAWANNABE.
In closing, Thank You for reading this (whoever you may be), and hopefully some kind soul will empathize with my plight and aid me in this hour of need (I hope that's not too corny...).
* My 'technical editing' stint was YEARS ago so I unconditionally accept all blame for all errors in whatever I write.
I had never heard of JGrasp, but I looked briefly at their site, and it does not look like anything you will need as a beginner. In general, I recommend that you avoid any type of IDE (Integrated Development Environment), including the NetBeans that came bundled with your download.
First, I'm assuming that you are using Windows, right?
There is only one Windows download option for the Java 1.5 NetBeans bundle, and I believe it's an online installation -- meaning that you would need to be connected to the internet when installing. This would explain why you're having troubles. But don't panic, because you don't need NetBeans anyway.
Instead, on Sun's Java 1.5 download page, select the link for "Download JDK 5.0 Update 6" (which is below the NetBeans Bundle option). This will take you to a page with a choice of a "Windows Offline Installation" or a "Windows Online Installation." You want the Offline installation (59.86 MB).
While you're connected to the internet, print these Windows installation instructions to use later. The only "tricky" part of the installation is setting the PATH variable (step 5 of the instructions). Be sure to follow this carefully.
To verify the version of Java that you have installed (assuming a Windows machine), open the Windows Command Prompt. If I remember correctly, this is under Start > Programs > Accessories > Windows Command Prompt. At the C:\> prompt, type: