Thanks to all for your great advice, kind wishes, and kudos...
I got this job off of www.craigslist.org,
where it was advertised directly by the employer. Typically the jobs posted there are for very short-term, low-paying contracts. This one was a fluke.
Originally posted by Sam Walker:
...I was limited to software that I could download and install for free. That means, no Oracle, weblogic or Microsoft products. How can I get my hands on those and how can I convince a potential employer that my freelance project is as good as a commercially developed one?
You can download Oracle 9i free from Oracle (free registration required)...you only pay when using it commercially - it's free for developers to use educationally. IIS/.NET Framework are free with Windows, and there is also a free developer version of Weblogic. Add the code to your portfolio if you can't deploy working examples commercially.
Search Google for Microsoft Web Matrix for a great free .NET IDE..it's a very stripped-down VisualStudio.net...Many great e-books available through Kazaa and e-Mule for all of the above...