I compiled the classes to a jar, per the instructions. So now my directory structure looks like this:
directory appletComponentArch (contains the class files)
I have set my JAVA_HOME environment variable, as well as adding %JAVA_HOME%\bin to the Path variable. I am able to run the applications using Eclipse's AppletViewer just fine. I'm using JDK and JRE 1.6.23.
I also noticed that on my laptop, the Java icon does not show up in my system tray like it does when I run the tutorial examples on my Internet-connected machine. On my laptop, I have changed settings in the Java Control Panel to always Show the Console, and such. I'm running Windows XP 64-bit.
The HTML page that launches an applet can be as simple as
so if you're not sure why things aren't working, it would be best to get something like this working first, and then move on to the fancier stuff. If you're not explicitly using any of the JNLP related features, there's no reason to overcomplicate things.
I did make it simple, and I revised the applet tag just like you suggested.
I think the problem may be that, according to some documentation I read on Oracle's website, there is no Java plug-in for 64-bit Windows. I going to try installing a 32-bit version of the latest JRE and run the 32-bit version of IE to see if that works.