The Catering Company

in Graphic Design, Sockit Solutions

We recently launched a new site for the Catering Company here in London!  You can check it out at! I wouldn’t visit the site on an empty stomach, though. ;)


Google Desktop & Windows 7 x64

in Cool Technology

Good news!  Google Desktop used to have issues with the 64-bit of Windows 7, requiring some command-line strangeness to install and some gadgets that just wouldn’t work properly.  I found myself missing the convenience of the fantastic Gmail & Google Calendar gadgets this morning, so I decided to see if the situation had improved.  Lo-and-behold, it now installs without issue and the gadgets work great!  If you’re a regular user of Google’s suite of apps, installing Google Desktop and enabling the built in Gmail / Calendar gadgets is definitely worth the effort.

Now, they just need to create a quick gadget to access my Google Tasks and we’ll be all set. :)


Adventures in Document Management

in Cool Technology

Since starting my business, I’ve noticed that I’ve had to hold onto a lot more paper. I’ve been collecting receipts in a big bag beside my desk with the intention of one day sorting through them. As that bag has gotten bigger and bigger, I’ve realized that I need to come up with some sort of document management solution.

While looking online for a solution, I came across this gem: ScanDrop for Google Docs. This simple utility allows you to scan documents directly to your Google Apps account in PDF format.  It sounded perfect for what I needed to do, so I decided to give it a whirl.

Initially my scanner wasn’t being detected by the software due to the fact that I was using the built-in Windows drivers for my HP Deskjet All-in-one.  It appears as though ScanDrop doesn’t support WIA, so I needed to download the giant 250MB driver package from the HP site in order to install the TWAIN driver for the scanner.  Once I downloaded & installed the new drivers, ScanDrop picked up my scanner and I was good to go.

The main interface is dead simple:

You simply place the document in the scanner, click the Scan button and ScanDrop will scan in your document.  If there are multiple pages, just put the next sheet in your scanner, click Scan and it will be added to the document.  The software auto rotates the contents and adjusts the brightness/contrast which is a nice touch.  Once everything is in, give your document a name, choose which Google Docs folder you’d like to place the document in and click Upload.  The software creates a PDF out of your images and uploads it to your account.  Couldn’t be easier.

If you try it out, let me know what you think and how it worked for you. :)

1 Comment

10in6 Website is Live!

in Sockit Solutions

We recently completed a website for 10in6, a company from here in London, Ontario that focuses on improving manufacturing productivity through manufacturing intelligence.  You can check it out at!

We’ve got a couple more websites launching soon, and I’ll hopefully be putting together a better portfolio on the main Sockit Solutions site soon. :)

1 Comment is now live!

in Sockit Solutions

It took a bit of time, but my website is finally up!

There are some additional things I want to do in the future, but it feels good to have more than a placeholder sitting there.  Check it out when you have a chance!


Oxygen, a free icon set

in Graphic Design

There’s nothing I like more than awesome free stuff.  Case in point: the Oxygen icon set.  Designed for the open-source desktop environment KDE, this set is available under the Creative Common’s Attribution-Share Alike License, meaning you are free to use them, distribute them and modify them as long as you attribute them to their original creator.  I’ve used them in a couple of projects (including the Sockit Solutions website) and I imagine I’ll use them in plenty more.  They’re clean, modern and include scalable SVG versions, allowing them to be used at virtually any size.  Here are a few samples from the set:

Big Teeth Smile Face Man:

Old-school printer / CB Radio / Alarm Clock (?):

A hammer:

A hammer + UN Flag:

I’m hosting the Oxygen icon set on my site since I had difficulty finding a download location that wasn’t RapidShare.  To download them, click here.

1 Comment

Google Mail Checker Plus: My New Favourite Chrome Extension

in Cool Technology

Lifehacker recently posted an article highlighting 13 Excellent Google Chrome Extensions, and while I generally don’t like to junk my browser up with unneeded bloat, one extension in particular caught my interest.  Google Mail Checker Plus takes care of the usual mail checking and notifying, but then it goes above and beyond, straight into awesome territory.

For starters, it supports multiple Google Apps accounts, which is great because I use two.  Next, it is FAST.  It polls the Gmail servers every 15 seconds, so the notifications come in nearly instantaneously.  But my favourite feature by far is how much time it saves me managing mail.  When new mail arrives, Google Mail Checker Plus will show you a list of unread messages, along with several buttons:

Google Mail Checker Buttons

Right from the notification interface, you’re able to delete the message, mark it as spam, archive it or just mark it as read.  If you’re dealing with large batches of e-mail regularly, this is an enormous time saver.

If you’re a Chrome / Gmail user, definitely check it out.  If you’re a Gmail user but haven’t switched to Chrome, I’d recommend you give it a try for this extension alone. :)


Welcome to The Sockit Blog!

in Sockit Solutions

Welcome BalloonSince this is the inaugural blog post, I’d like to officially welcome you and introduce myself.  First, the welcome:

Welcome, web drifter!

Next, the introduction:

My name is Chris Ysebert and I run Sockit Solutions, an IT Services company in London, Ontario. I started my company in November of 2009 after having spent several years working as an “IT Guy” at a small software company.  Over the years I’ve seen how well-implemented technology can empower people to work and communicate more effectively, and through Sockit Solutions I hope to show a lot more people how easy and awesome technology can be.

I’ll be using this blog to share interesting technology news, useful tech tips, and updates on what Sockit Solutions is up to.  Running my own business is something I’ve wanted to do for quite some time, so sharing how it’s all progressing should hopefully make for an interesting read. :)  Feel free to leave comments, ask questions, send money, etc. ;)

And with the formalities out of the way, let’s get to some real posts. :)