thanks zparticle. your way did work
i had another problem as well with trying to read the "meta.dat" text file from the same location. not quite as easy as reading an image file.
after ages of API surfing and looking at little demos and stuff i worked that out too.http://www.tair.freeservers.com/Java/readtext.htm
it's meant for reading an online file... seems though that the jar files are very network orientated.
Windows and DOS are sooo lenient on file names. they're not case sensitive and you can have spaces following them. i discovered somehow that all the file names but one had spaces after them in the dat file so it didnt work either way.
good thing MS introduced the intercnangable \ and / things or there'd be yet another annoying compatibility issue to overcome. some of my GIF's had upper case first letters.
it finally works independently from a jar file.
the result is an extendable cache system which dictates what tiles are available and what they do. that'd let me change it very quickly later on, or add more tiles.
a little more interesting than before, there're 42 tiles, adding tiles will throw 20 random ones in there. only very slightly lower performance than the BufferStrat demo.http://members.austarmetro.com.au/~juddman/java/MultiGFXBuffer.jar