more (correctable) annoyances with ios 14

I’m currently running with iOS/iPadOS 14.1, which was released last week. Before that latest update I was having issues with screen brightness and color across all my devices. I would sit looking at the device and see the brightness slowly increase, then slowly decrease, or else watch the hue shift from warm to cool and back again. Or both at the same time. That’s part of the feature set, folks.

I got so tired of it, so I went looking for all the ways to turn it off and just set my own screen brightness. First I went into Display and Brightness and turned off True Tone. That got rid of the crazy hue shifting. Then I had to go hunting further through Settings for more…

I finally stumbled upon Accessibility | Display and Text Size and made sure everything there was off. What surprised me is that Reduce Transparency and Increase Contrast were both enabled. I know I never touched those once, because it’s under Accessibility, and supposedly it’s for folks who actually need help accessing their iPhone. Once I disabled those, the look on my iPhone in particular matched what I used to get right up to the iPhone 8 and its iOS version, 11. The overall look when weird after that, which I know isn’t quite the technical term you’d like to read. But it was usable, I was busy, so I lived with the weirdness.

You’d think by now I would have nailed it all, but no, there’s one more setting which I’ll document here. At the bottom of Display and Text Size is Auto-Brightness. You have to turn that off as well. Once that’s all done, then the screen is just a screen, not some magic marketing checkbox.

The controls for controlling these “features” are all over the place in Settings. Silly me, I would have thought Auto-Brightness would be in Display & Brightness, not two levels down in Accessibility | Display and Text Size. Only a sadistic asshole Apple developer would design and implement it that way.

Now, with the latest version of iOS, all I have to do is swipe down from the upper left corner to get a control panel with the brightness widget, and set the screen brightness to a level I like. It really isn’t that hard to do, folks. The automagic capability in iOS is busted in my not-so-humble-opinion. I’m thankful that I can disable all that crap and do it on my own. Right now, I have screen brightness level set between a third and a half of the slider.

ubuntu 20.10 on a raspberry pi 4 8gb


Canonical finally released a reasonably tuned version of Ubuntu 20.10 for the Raspberry Pi 4, 4GB and 8GB versions. I installed it on my 8GB board and gave it a small whirl as it were. Based on my initial experiences, while Ubuntu for Raspberry Pi is much polished over any other released version, it won’t replace Raspbian/Raspberry Pi OS, 64 bit.

Installation and Startup

This version of Ubuntu was installed on a SanDisk 128GB µSDXC card (V30, XC I, U3, A2). It was well more than enough room, and it was certainly inexpensive enough. On first boot, Ubuntu automatically resized the file system to use all the available space, which is to be expected these days

Ubuntu 20.10 fully recognized my LG display. Settings | Displays shows it as an LG Electronics 29″ monitor with 2560 x 1080 (21:9) resolution. This beats Raspbian in a way, as you have to make a minor tweak to Raspbian after first boot to remove outer black bands and fill the entire display. Every other version of Ubuntu for Raspberry Pi would not properly work with my LG monitor, and as a consequence it was always blacked out after first boot.

Initial Usage

One of my long-running peeves with all Linux distributions is the inclusion of bloat in the form of unneeded applications, especially games. I used to be able to go in before installation and deselect a lot of that, but with Ubuntu for Raspberry Pi, you get it all, whether you want it or not. Raspbian by comparison is tight in that you get only what you need. You can install more later on if you wish, but you don’t have to go hunt down the superfluous bits and delete them. Since this was meant to be a quick peek at Ubuntu, I skipped this phase and moved on.

I was surprised that the GCC tools weren’t installed. Performing apt install build-essential got me what I needed. I also had to install git and curl (for installing Rust). I have yet to understand why these are not installed with the base, as we’re not asking for much, either in tools or disk space..

I also installed Visual Studio Code, which is now fully available as a package for AArch64/ARM64 from Microsoft. Go to the download page ( ), look in the middle for Linux, and select ARM 64 for the .deb packaging. I am no longer attempting to build VSCode on any of my ARM64 systems any more. And when it is fully installed, it identifies itself as Visual Studio Code, not some janky weird name.

With VSCode in my arsenal of development tools, I no longer have a need for either Vim or Emacs. I can install the extensions I care about and move on with my life.

All of this is applicable to Raspbian OS as it is to Ubuntu for Raspberry Pi.

Operations and Final Thoughts

There’s no getting around that Ubuntu for Raspberry Pi is a formidable distribution when it comes to working in a powerful development environment. All the tools are up-to-date, at least as far as the release date for Ubuntu 20.10. These tools are far more up-to-date than what is stock on Raspberry Pi OS. So there’s that.

But when it comes to day-to-day usage, Ubuntu for Raspberry Pi has an aggravating slowness to how it operates. Startup of any application is noticeably laggy, enough to be annoying after a time. Moving windows around on the desktop is choppy at best. Raspbian, by comparison, is every bit as snappy as Ubuntu on regular x86-64 hardware. Everything starts quickly and the desktop is smooth. Raspbian is fast enough to be transparent in use and to just get out of my way. Ubuntu for Raspberry Pi, not so much.

And this Ubuntu, similar to Ubuntu releases on on other ARM64 boards (such as nVidia’s Nano and Xavier boards) has a much larger memory footprint than Raspbian. Memory is fixed on all these boards, such that I pay attention to how much I have to give to the OS before I even get started with my application usage.

Ubuntu 20.10 for Raspberry Pi is a compelling offering, especially if you’re an Ubuntu power user on other hardware and want to maintain the same working environment across all your different machines. While it won’t currently replace Raspbian 64-bit on my Raspberry Pi, it’s so very close to being able to do so. If the next release can pick up performance and reduce resource usage, then it will stand as a true alternative to Raspbian. And that’s when I’ll make the move over Ubuntu on my Raspberry Pi 4 devices.