I was playing around with Java quite early. In 96 I was a newly graduated computer scientist and there where talk about Suns new language. I looked at the language and found it quite ok for an imperative (fresh from uni I was pretty pro logic and functional of course:) language. I got even more reason to play around with it when I had to use it at work that same year. I had to build an O&M app for a Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) style solution. I used normal web access with CGI scripts as far as possible, but when it came to alarm and error displays I used Java. I had to build my own multicolumn panel widget and lots of other things, because the first AWK was very limited and pretty buggy. Anyway, it was a good experience and some of the applets I've written can be found here.

WordFinder A word finding game
Mastermind The classic Mastermind game
Race Game A little car racing game
Mine Sweeper A simple but fully functional mine sweeper game
Input Panel Input widget for jog-dial style input