I am now running Debian Linux 9.5. This is the current stable release.
So far this seems really stable. I have installed the most recent build of Weechat IRC Client from the backports. So feel free to chat to me (zleap) on Freenode. I’ll still hang out in the Linuxmint support channel on the spotchat server.
The Debian install didn’t take that long, fairly straightforward but also from the non-free repository. I am trying to keep /home to a minimum to avoid lots of clutter of files that are never opened. (how long this plan will work for remains to be seen).
Nice thing about backing up some of the /home/user/ hidden .dot files such as .thunderbird is that you can copy this back over to your new install and be back up and running very quickly.
Anyway, hopefully I can get back to more Arduino / Micro:bit hacking without too many issues.