I have been playing around with the GNU Compiler for Java (GCJ) and have been trying to get it to work reliably as a native compiler on Windows. I finally succeeded in this goal (sort of) - some of the pieces are still unfinished and some are plain missing, but as The Beatles put it: “It's getting better all the time!”.
The great thing about this effort is that the MinGW and the GCJ developers have been very helpful in getting a “newbie” like yours truly off the ground and wade through the morass of problems he faced. A big and sincere “THANK YOU!” goes out to all these cool guys!
Of course, without the ultra-cool Gmane newsgroups interface to mailing lists, I could not even have dreamed of subscribing to any of the developer mailing lists that are so vital to community-based software development. Thanks a tonne to Lars Magne Ingebrigtsen for Gmane!