I'm running Debian 3.1 with the 2.4.27-2-386 kernel. I've installed the
java 1.4.2 sdk. I can compile and execute the programs in the usual
fashion, but I'd like to be able to just type and execute the binaries,
i.e., ./HelloLinux.class.

It looks like my kernel does not have the java support installed. I
looked for binfmt_java.o, but understand now that it has been replaced
by binfmt_misc.o. I just read that support for java must somehow be
activated by changing something in binfmt_misc.o. How can I do this?

I have a fair amount of computer experience, but it's dated, and I'm new
to linux.

If this is a stupid question please feel free to say so, but I still
need an answer.