The Java Class
Getting Started

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You say you are not using Windows
Many of the details in the following instructions assume that development is being done on a Windows platform. Please help us all by providing recommendations and experience with tools and process for other platforms via the mailing list.

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Please help me keep them up to date. When you notice a change or a missing link please send me an e-mail and I will change update this page to keep it consistent with the sources.

Get and Install TextPad (or other editor)

  1. Go To http:
    // (opens in a separate window)
  2. Download The Free Evaluation Copy
    The last time I checked TextPad cost $27. The evaluation copy just asked if you wanted to buy every hour or so of use. Pay the $27 and it will stop asking. I don't know if it ever stops and demands payment because I bought it after a couple of days.
  3. Install It
  4. Configure TextPad
    TextPad is a general text editor but you would like it to assume that you are typing Java even if you are entering a new file so it can help you with the syntax.
    1. On the Configure menu select "Preferences"
    2. In the Preferences dialog select "File"
    3. Set the default file extension to "java"
  5. Start Typing
    Enter the HelloWorld Java program
  6. Save the Program
    Build the directories and save the program in the C:\tij\my\C02 directory with the file name will compile it later.)

Get Bruce Eckel's Book and Code Examples
You probably want the soft copy of the book even if you buy it (I find both useful in different ways.) and you will want the code examples in either case.

  1. Go to (opens in a separate window)
  2. Under the title "Book and Book Support" find and follow the Book Download Links
  3. Pick One
    You are looking for 6 zip files for Thinking in Java, 2nd Edition (only about 1.5MB total)
    1. Download all 6
    2. Expand the 2 code files into C:\tij
    3. Expand the 4 book(html) files into C:\tij\book
  4. Checkout the Book
    1. With your web browser open the file
    2. Bookmark the file
    3. Browse Chapter 2 Everything is an Object
    4. Find the class in Chapter 2.
    5. Find the example code in C:\tij\C02

Get and Setup Java 2 SDK (JDK)

  • You work for a company that participates in the development of Java (Sun, IBM, ...)
    1. See your instructor for special instructions. If not in a class look for an internal support site. You will have additional resources available and guidance on using Java in product development.


  • Everybody Else
    1. Go to: (opens in a separate window)
    1. Download Java 2 SDK, v 1.3 Software for Windows 95 / 98 / 2000 / NT 4.0 (about 30MB to download)
    2. Run the install program
    3. Let it install into C:\jdk1.3


  1. Add to PATH string
    C:\jdk1.3\bin; ... (assuming you used the above install directories)
    This lets Windose find java.exe when you type java in a command window
  2. Set CLASSPATH string to
    .;C:\jdk1.3\bin;C:\tij (assuming you used the above install directories)
    • "." lets Java find your program in the current directory
    • "C:\jdk1.3.0\bin" lets Java find the Java libraries
    • "C:\tij" lets Java find Libraries provided with Thinking In Java

Compile and Run HelloDate

  1. From the Windose Start Menu>Programs open a Command Prompt
  2. Make the current directory C:\tij/my/C02
    Can be done with command: cd C:\tij/my/C02
  3. Compile the program in
    Can be done with command: javac
    The compiled program will be in HelloDate.class
  4. Run HelloDate.class
    Can be done with command: java HelloDate
    When done close the Command window it will not be needed for a while.

Compile and Run HelloDate Again

  1. Open in TextPad
  2. Compile the program
    Do it with Compile Java on the Tools menu (or Ctrl+1)
    The compiled program will be in HelloDate.class
  3. Run HelloDate.class
    Do it with Run Java Application on the Tools menu (or Ctrl+2)
    When done Close the Command window and TextPad it will not be needed for a while.

Get Sun Documentation

  1. Go to (opens in a separate window)
  2. Download JavaTM 2 SDK Docs - HTML Format (about 23MB)
  3. Unzip it to C:
    We want to put it in C:\jdk1.3\docs. The internal paths in the zip file should add the \jdk1.3\docs

Explore the Sun Documentation

  1. Start your browser and open the file file://C:/jdk1.3/docs/index.html (opens in a separate window) If it fails to open make sure you put it there.
  2. Bookmark the page you will use it often
  3. Click on the API & Language link
  4. Click on the Java 2 Platform API Specification link
  5. Use Index to find "Date - class java.util.Date"
  6. Click on the link Date and read a bit about Date
  7. In the upper left browser frame there is a list of Packages. Find java.lang and click on it.
    • Now the lower left frame in the browser will have a list of Interfaces, Classes, Exceptions and Errors in the java.lang Package.
  8. In the lower left frame find the Class "String" and click on it.
    • Now the large frame on the right will provide details about the String Class. Spend some time reading the details but don't expect to understand much.
  9. In the upper left browser frame near the top click on All Classes.
    • Now the lower left frame in the browser will have a list of all the Classes and Interfaces that are included with Java. You will be able to build additional classes and use those provided to build your Java Systems.
  10. In the lower left frame scroll down the list and take a guess at how many classes (and interfaces) are provided.
    • If you see a class name you can't resist click on it and see the description to the right.

Congratulations! You are Up and Running

Send an e-mail to the list at to let us know that you got here. Now go help a classmate that is stuck.