Java & Firefox

I must warn everyone, i have had ubuntu for 1 week or so, and i have been fiddling with java for about 3 days.  Heres the problem:  I have configured APT to get the extra repos. and even have access to downloading any java/program/whatever i want.  I have installed what feels like EVERYTHING that has the word java in it with no success on running java on firefox.  I've tried sun-java 5, sun java 6, j2re SE, icedtea... everything, with no success at viewing streaming quotes, spades, or mahjong online.  Is it something i must do to firefox?  If i goto about:plugins i get to see that GCJ Web Browser Plugin (using IcedTea) 1.4 is installed, but no dice with anything.  I am so sick of dealing with what seems like such a petty issue, can someone please help me out...

Have you tried to copy the

Have you tried to copy the java plugin into FF plugins folder?
(from within your java installation find approx. the following: java/jre1.5.0/plugin/i386/ns7/libjavaplugin_oji.so and copy it to /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins or something). It requires to be root.
You may also try to switch to java-5 or 6 (i.e. make it systemwide):
sudo update-alternatives –config java
Btw, for Firefox you need the sun-java6-plugin package.
P.S. Try also googling the answer on the ubuntu forums as there are lotsa interesting stuff.