I'd call little-o object and instance the same thing ... an object is an instance of a class. Some times it is important to be very precise about class and object ... class being a definition of a thing and object being an example thing of that class.
For example, when you write a method call in your code the compiler checks that the class of an argument you pass matches the class of the parameter on the method. But at run time, you're passing a real object and the JVM checks that the object you are passing is an instance of a class that matches the method.
By the way: Capital-O Object is really confusing because it is (get this!) a class. Yikes! That's purely a Java
thing - blame Sun for confusing us all.
Reading back on this, I think Nathanial and I said exactly the same thing with slightly different emphasis. I hope reading it twice helps!
[ December 13, 2003: Message edited by: Stan James ]