I'd like to practice with something a little more complicated than Hello World. I'm trying to think of something that is within the abilities of a beginner, yet gives areas that are a challenge and require a little research and effort.
Anybody have any project ideas that (even if you've already done them) that you found interesting and educating?
A.K. Dewdney's The Armchair Universe gave me many great ideas for exploring programming, many years ago. i remember the book fondly, although i no longer have any of the code it made me write. highly recommended.
I tend to turn it around, but I've been programming for a while and have the basics covered. I start by picking an API or concept that I'd like to learn. The other day I did the New Input/Output (NIO) tutorial at DeveloperWorks and then wrote a chunks of code to get familiar with it.
You could write a simple chat client/server using just streams and sockets. Oh, and perhaps Threads. Okay, that's getting bigger but definitely a fun one. Using the same concepts, I wrote a shoutCAST relay/ripper.
This question is asked quite often here, so you may want to use the search tool to find previous threads. Also, the current threads might have ideas for you. Occassionally, a question here sparks my interest enough to motivate me to try and implement the solution to their particular homework assignment or project on my own.