Sorry for the delay Nathanael,
The message in the file java.log reads:
/usr/local/matlab6p1/sys/java/jre/glnx86/jre/lib/i386/native_threads/libzip.so: symbol errno, version GLIBC_2.0 not defined
in file libc.so.6 with link time reference (libzip.so)
Unable to initialize threads: cannot find class java/lang/Thread
Meanwhile I have received some help, from a guy called Brian Borchers, from another forum, called mathforum, which, in the bottom line, redirected me two these two "Technical Solutions" from the mathworks site:
The first "Solution" practically worked for me with:
to the effect that the matlab window now pops up and remains, though the fonts seem to be a little too big...
My problem now is how to set this environment variable automatically when, and only when, I run the command matlab from a given shell, and not otherwise. I mean, in principle, I would not like to have the system assume that my kernel is 2.4.1 when, in fact, it is 2.6.8; this might have other (bad) implications, might it not?
Thanks again for any help!