Reinstalling a Linux computer system: Step by step

I’m about to put a new hard drive and battery in my main laptop, a 2017 HP Envy 15. Whenever I make a change like this, I like to be ready with backups, Linux install images on USB drives and whatever tools and parts I might need. I’m not as worried about running into problems because I now have a very decent second computer — the 2011 27-inch iMac running Debian Buster — if the laptop isn’t ready right away, I’ll still be able to work.
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Ruby gtk3 GUI applications ARE cross-platform

I’ve been intermittently struggling and totally forgetting about the best way to create cross-platform GUI applications. I’ve veered between Tk for Ruby or Python, JavaFX and Qt. I recently stumbled on GTK3 in Ruby, and I’ve been going through a couple of tutorials in an attempt to figure it out. Since I’m back on Debian Stable for 90 percent of my computing, I figured I’d give GTK3 a try. I knew that you could run GTK apps in Windows (and presumably also on MacOS), but maybe I’d have to resort to exotic packaging to make it happen.
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Debian 10 Buster with GNOME 3: I didn’t expect it to be this fast, but that could be the SSD talking

I don’t know how much of it is Debian 10 and how much is swapping a 5400-RPM hard drive with an M.2 NVMe SSD, but my 2-year-old laptop is FLYING now that I’ve ditched Windows 10 and the 1 GB magnetic drive that came with it. And this is with GNOME 3. The stock or lightly/heavily-favored desktop environment in Debian, Fedora and Ubuntu looks great, runs with no hesitation (in constrast to Windows 10) and doesn’t have me thinking that I need anything else for speed-related reasons.
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