Also, is creating an applet that uses the java 6 plugin 2 thing any different than creating a normal applet?
See the Java documentation for the Applet and Object tags. Especially look at the documentation of the “class ID” attribute of the object tag. You want to use a classid tag like this:
xxxx = 0016 yyyy = 0000 zzzz = 0002
and this will specify that exact version. No, specifying any specific Java version is no different than asking for the “latest version intalled” except for the value of the classid attribute and perhaps the value of the codebase attribute.
See also Deployment Advice from Java 6 update 10. Note that Java 6 update 10 adds a number of significant features that allow you, for example, to run an Applet outside of a browser.