Monthly Archives: July 2013

Lenovo Ideapad U310 – A laptop you can touch

First of all, I’d like to say how thankful I am for Lenovo giving me this laptop to review. I have really enjoyed putting it through the paces as my main machine.

One of the major trends in personal computers since the release of Windows 8 last October was the increase of touch-enabled laptops. In the past, people have scoffed at the idea of touching your laptop screen, saying that it is too awkward or pointless. That may have been true with Windows 7, which wasn’t as optimized for touch as Windows 8 is.

However, with Windows 8, touch now makes perfect sense on any device, from a large all-in-one PC to a little 13 inch laptop. (Obviously touch makes perfect sense on a tablet) Within the first few hours, I was completely accustomed to touching the screen that I completely forgot about the track pad. In fact, whenever I needed to use a laptop without touch, I found myself touching the screen, only to be frustrated when it didn’t work. J

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to use the touch screen to do everything, so I found myself using the mouse for a few things. For example, applications like Photoshop, Illustrator, Muse, and Visual Studio (applications which I use on a daily basis), require a more precise interaction than a touch screen can provide. However, the majority of people don’t use these applications and this wouldn’t be a problem for them.

Overall, I used touch for when I was not on the desktop. I would use touch in Internet Explorer, Tweetro+, and just about every other Windows 8 application I use. It was especially fun to play around with Fresh Paint on Windows 8. (No, I’m not going to share any art, it would be too embarrassing. J)

Games was also great to have touch for. I had purchased Angry Birds Star Wars before, but because it wasn’t working on Windows RT, I hadn’t had a chance to play it at all. (I absolutely refused to play it using a mouse. That is just pointless.) But when I received this computer, finally my chance at popping some storm trooper pigs had arrived.

Unfortunately this Ultrabook is not for me. I love the size and touch capabilities, but it turns out that I require a much more powerful device to accomplish what I need to do. I do a lot of programming and design work, which requires me to have multiple resource-intensive applications running at once. Running Visual Studio (for programming), Photoshop, Illustrator, and Muse (for design), I quickly reached the max memory and processor load.

So while this device would be perfect for the average user, It’s not for me. (Which makes me sad because I love the size of the device and the touch capabilities)

Change border color on selected GridViewItem and ListViewItem

I have had this issue where any GridView or ListView I create with item selection enabled has a standard border color that I just couldn’t seem to change. It was a purple color, and it annoyed me because it didn’t match the colors I was using in my app.

I had given up hope on finding this until recently. Today I found the code for a GridViewItem style, and found the specific items that I could change a couple properties, and voilà!

Screenshot (1)

Custom color selection borders!

So here’s how you do it. First, you get the code for a GridViewItem. (Or a ListViewItem)
(GridViewItem)


(ListViewItem)


There are two things you are looking for (They’ll be near the bottom of each style):

  1. A rectangle with the name “SelectedBorder”
  2. A path with the name “SelectedEarmark”

All you need to do is change the Stroke property on the rectangle and the fill property on the path to the SolidColorBrush of your choice.

I hope this helps you as you seek to perfect your app!

Remember, the best way to learn is to DO. So feel free to mess around with the style code and get things looking just the way you want.

Thanks,

Joshua

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