Well, in order to keep myself sharp and learning new skills, I'm going to dive into expanding and working on a couple of open source projects.
There's a tool called Source Navigator which is a really nice source code static analyzer - it produces call trees and other useful information about a set of source files. It's nice, but the UI needs some serious help and the built-in editor isn't quite up to modern standards. I'm going to attempt to take the core functionality and wrap it in a modern UI, either something based on Qt, or Scintilla, or some other UI/Editor package. Or, possibly take the core functionality and turn the tool into a Netbeans or Eclipse plugin, which would also be useful.
I'm also going to dive into working on Gimp, seeing if I can beef up its Photoshop brush functionality. I'd like to see brush sets, and a system of caching that didn't involve loading snapshots of every single brush into memory! I routinely crash Gimp with the hundreds of brushes I have, and that's one thing that's preventing me from keeping away from Photoshop.
On the Ruby on Rails front, I'm learning Redcar for use as my Ruby editor since Netbeans Ruby support is lacking. I'm not sure how well it works with Rails yet, but so far I'm liking it - and it's written in Ruby! Can't beat that
I've updated all my Carrara 8 plugins now, so I'm good to go on cranking out logos, Web graphics, and the like. There are a couple of plugins I don't have, since the developer basically told me "you lost the serials? Too bad, buy them again" so I won't be purchasing from HIS company any more. If you want good Carrara plugins with the BEST support, go to Digital Carvers Guild!
Now, back to reinstalling well over 10GB of 3D art assets. Urgh.