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This paper presents a laboratory session of an advanced programming course to introduce students to the technology involved with the Java programming language. In this special lab session the educational software tool VisualJVM is used, providing a graphical front-end to a Java virtual machine (JVM). This tool helps students learn about JVM architecture, learn how JVM works, and consequently, to understand why a Java program is platform independent. The student reaction to this experience was very positive and the authors are planning to use the tool in other contexts.