Can applets display images on the viewers hard drive somehow?

If so how would I do that?

And if I dont know the filenames but I know the directory, is there a way to do it?

I think you would run into accesibilty issues there. I don't think applet are allowed to do that.

no, applets aren't normally allowed to access anything on the client machine.

Signed applets can, IF the user allows them (which I personally wouldn't unless the signing authority was a well known one and even then only if the applet ran on a site I implicitly trust and the applet is a required part of the user experience on that site).
Effectively what this boils down to is that you should not use a signed applet unless you're in an intranet environment.

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