Finally, I got my environment ready.

My forging environment:

 - the laptop (anvil-o-mobile) running Ubuntu for development.
 - Git for version control.
 - a VirtualBox running my client's OS and software for testing.
 - XAMPP for services and web client.
 - Java for new desktop clients. (Multiplatform is key for me).

I've found the "MySQL Workbench" useful for database design.

On the other hand, in a few minutes I'll put up my first toy: an as of yet unpolished, apparently functional, curses based, clone of bejeweled by the guys at Popcap. Perhaps I'll polish that, or make another toy and put it up one of these days.