Time for an upgrade

Well, between having a couple more things come up in class that were issues because I was still running Mint 14 and having just backed up the laptop anyway, last night I decided I might as well go ahead and upgrade to Mint 17. It’s a lll be long-term support version; apparently it’ll be supported until 2019, which seems like it should be more than enough—I’d be surprised to still be using the same laptop in five years! So I wiped the hard drive (including the Windows partition that I hadn’t logged into in over a year) and threw in the Mint Cinnamon 17 install CD. Rather than going with the default install, I decided to give my /home its own partition—I’d read some blog posts from people who advised doing that, as it apparently makes both upgrading and recovering from catastrophic “oops, I broke it” moments a lot easier. So, 50 gigs for root and 10 for swap (both of which are probably on the generous side, but whatever), leaving me 260 for /home, which should be plenty given that this is mostly a work system.

The install itself was completely painless—it took maybe five minutes once I got the partitions sqaured away, and everything worked out of the box flawlessly on my ThinkPad T530. The only thing that I thought wasn’t working was two-finger scrolling for my trackpad, but it turns out that’s just an option you need to turn on in Preferences.

Next up was reinstalling everything. The first things to go back on were RVM and Ruby (upgraded that to 2.1.2 while I was at it), then jsnode (which I immediately symlinked to node), npm, and learnyounode. No problems with any of those out of the box, either. Nice!

After stuff to code in, it was time to start in on the general purpose Stuff on the system. For the data, that just meant plugging in the external drive and copying stuff over. While that was going, I started installing a few programs. Password Gorilla is my password manager of choice on Linux; it lets me have a different password for everything and only requires me to remember the one master password. Next up is Bit Torrent Sync, which lets me sync files between various systems directly, without any cloud storage required. This means that I’m the only one who has copies of my files, which is just the way I like it.

It didn’t take much to get Bit Torrent Sync running; just downloading a tarball, extracting the contents, and throwing it in a directory, then doing ./btsync. For Linux, btsync uses a browser interface for the moment. After connecting to that, I just had to enter the keys for the files I wanted to sync, and start downloading (and uploading). BitTorrent Sync is how I keep my password files all synchronized; there are apps for Android, and both my server and Windows machine are all set up with btsync. Since the server is on all the time, I essentially have my own private mini-cloud for everything I want to share.

Next up was Dropbox (have to use it for work occasionally), which was fairly painless, as well as upgrading everything that came with the install. Probably should have done that earlier, but it slipped my mind at the time. At this point, I’m pretty set up, though I’ve got a little troubleshooting to do: the git-related portions of my bashrc aren’t working, and I still need to get my Vim install organized—for some reason, $VIM and $VIMRUNTIME aren’t declared and by default there’s no .vim directory. I want to be sure all that stuff is in working order before I start tinkering with it too much, or I’ll just end up making a big mess. Measure twice, cut once, or something!

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