Yeah! Good advice. Thanks. I have no real reason except to scratch an itch.
The kernel upgrade wasn't as smooth as i implied - a fair amount of hacking about in Terminal, mainly because I was using fglrx (which I now avoid).
Updating to Mint 17 looks painful given that the clean install method is strongly advised. http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/1946
It's taken a fair effort to get things setup properly and the only time I really want to do it again, is on new hardware.
Assuming that your current hardware is capable of running Linux Mint (LM) 17.1 KDE, I think that upgrading to 17.1 KDE would be a really good thing to do, especially since it is supported until 2019. Obviously, you should have a really good backup first. A fresh install of LM 17.1 KDE would be best. You could use "Aptik" to backup, and or create, a list of all installed programs for reference. You could also create a live install version of Linux Mint 17.1 KDE on DVD or a USB flash drive and boot to it to test your system and make sure that it would work first.
Option: Just go through the Update Manager and update your system until you get to version 17.1. Or if there are other good suggestions for upgrading from 13 to 17.1, use those.
Option: If you have enough hard drive space, you could install the new version along side your current version (dual boot) into another partition. this has an advantage, in that all your stuff on the older version's partition is accessible from the new version. Then, when you have the new version just the way you want, you can delete the older version and it's partition, use the partition manager to move the new partition over and reclaim the space; there is more to this procedure, but it works and is pretty easy. I have done this before and if you choose this option, and ask, I'll give you detailed instructions on how to do this.
Most people are concerned about upgrading because of their files and data they need to keep, which can be copied to an external hard drive or USB flash drives and just copied back to the new version once that is installed. Web browser stuff, like bookmarks, saved passwords, etc... can easily be saved / exported to a file and re-imported whenever you want. There is a great plug-in for FireFox called "Febe" which backs up everything
in FireFox that you have into a folder which you can then copy to an external place (drive) and when you bring up your new version's FireFox just install that "Febe" plug-in and restore all that easily. "Xmarks" is another great browser plug-in for most browsers to sync bookmarks and stuff even across upgrades. Programs and applications are another matter; that 's why getting a list of installed applications will make it easier to identify those that need to be re-installed in the new version of Linux Mint along with their new versions. The mint backup program or Aptik can help with that. Aptik is better, but I would not recommend restoring applications backed up using Aptik from a much older version like 13 to a much newer version 17.1. There could be big differences.
Keeping in mind, that once you have done this major upgrade, you won't need to be concerned with upgrading again until 2019.