No, I've never used Firefox.
Use JRE 1.6.0_07 for applet
I looked through the Java page for FAQ's. One reference mentioned going to Control Panel and clicking on the Java Console. Looking through the Control Panel listings, indicates I don't have the console. In addition, one of the previous Updates won't remove from the Add/Remove Programs. That issue is mentioned as well. I have sent an email requesting assistance from Java, so hopefully they will respond.
Erm.. not sure why is that.. By the way, I believe your computer now is good (apart from that hotmail problems)..
I believe you should email microsoft too about the problems.. They own hotmail now..
You can ask for further assistance from our Windows XP forum... Link below..
Tell them I send you there, and you have been cleaned..
I'm also suggesting you to use Firefox.. Its a much better and safer browser.. link below:
Is there anything else that I can help you?