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Applets & JRE/VM probs

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If anyone can suggest a fix to my problem, I'd greatly appreciate it.
I am writing a applet that communicates with a server via sockets. Currently I'm having a problem with the applet not loading and executing properly in various browsers. The problem here, I'm pretty sure is the JRE versions on the remote machins.
Currently I'm developing using jdk 1.2.2
Using the java console, the applet works fine in IE on the machine that reports the JRE as 1.2.2 with plugin version 1.2.2.p001
The applet fails in IE on a machine that reports the JRE as 1.3.0 Java hotspot client with plugin version 1.3.0-C. (failure is incompatible ImageIcon versions)
Also, the applet seems to run most of the time if the JRE is switched to 1.2.2 Classis, while keeping the plugin as 1.3.0-C.
The applet also fails on another machine with JRE version 1.2.2 with plugin version 1.2.2.p005. (the applit fails to open some JInternalFrames)
I am concerned that the applet doesn't function even on machines with Newer JRE and Plugins. Any suggestions on what to do? This applet is intended to be run over the internet, so I have limited control over the client machines.
Thanks much,
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