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Use Java for Automated Calc Sheets?

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I have seen some threads here about automated calculations on the internet.
I've used some Java "Applets" on line that plot functions and allow the user
to adjust the parameters.  Has anyone here investigated or used Java for
automating calcs?

I did a UBC snowdrift application in C for a truss company, and found
dealing with C as time consuming as writing the algorithm.  Numerical input
functions, for example, require all kinds of tricks like reading a string
into an array, converting each character in the array into an integer...
Now with Windows, there is a whole new bunch of issues like printer support,
creating windows, toolbars, etc...  I thought about Visual Basic, but a
programmer said he has had bad luck with distributing VB applications and
getting them to install correctly.

Since everyone has a web browser, it seems that Java could be used to make a
local HTML application that would be easy to add graphics and formatted text
to, support printing, etc.  The HTML part is easy, I know, but I don't know
how manageable Java is.  Any info appreciated.

Ed Fasula E.I.T.