My name is Ismael Chang Ghalimi. I build the STOIC platform. I am a stoic, and this blog is my agora.

Moving to Singapore

Big news: my family has decided to relocate to Singapore. This will allow our three kids to attend a Chinese-speaking school (my wife is American-born Chinese) and to discover a new culture. For my part, I will travel back and forth on a regular basis, planning to be in Palo Alto for a few days every 4 to 6 weeks.

Since our little team of nine is spread across Palo Alto, New York, Saint-Lô, Melbourne, and Singapore, it should not meaningfully affect my daily work. But with this relocation, it creates the opportunity of growing our team in Singapore.

I’ll be in Singapore from Wednesday this week for one to two weeks. If you live there and would like to meet, make sure to drop me a line. I should be able to show you the very latest version of our platform. And if you want to join Hugues, Yves, and I to help us finish our upgrade framework and authorization engine, you’re more than welcome!

Remember the bag I’ve been using for traveling and the monitor I bought in Singapore? Well, the latter fits in the former, alongside all my other traveling and clothing items, as well as the mouse and keyboard I added to my setup.
That’s because the monitor has a removable stand and an external power adapter, hence it’s very thin. Also, at 6 pounds, it’s light enough that I can lug it around without too much effort. The bag is pretty full, but fits perfectly in the overhead bin on any airplane worth flying on as a passenger.
I can now work from anywhere with the full comfort of a real desktop setup.
Remember the bag I’ve been using for traveling and the monitor I bought in Singapore? Well, the latter fits in the former, alongside all my other traveling and clothing items, as well as the mouse and keyboard I added to my setup.
That’s because the monitor has a removable stand and an external power adapter, hence it’s very thin. Also, at 6 pounds, it’s light enough that I can lug it around without too much effort. The bag is pretty full, but fits perfectly in the overhead bin on any airplane worth flying on as a passenger.
I can now work from anywhere with the full comfort of a real desktop setup.

Remember the bag I’ve been using for traveling and the monitor I bought in Singapore? Well, the latter fits in the former, alongside all my other traveling and clothing items, as well as the mouse and keyboard I added to my setup.

That’s because the monitor has a removable stand and an external power adapter, hence it’s very thin. Also, at 6 pounds, it’s light enough that I can lug it around without too much effort. The bag is pretty full, but fits perfectly in the overhead bin on any airplane worth flying on as a passenger.

I can now work from anywhere with the full comfort of a real desktop setup.

I’m in Singapore for 12 days where I’ll spend a fair amount of time working from my hotel room. In order to increase my productivity, I bought a Dell S2240L 21.5” Full HD (1920x1080) monitor. Combined with my 13” MacBook, it’s giving me a fantastic work area, yet it weighs less than 6 pounds and could fit into my backpack, which means that I could theoretically take it with me on future trips. And for $145, it’s hard to beat…

Travel setup

My new travel setup proved highly effective during my last trip. The only change I will make to it for my trip to Singapore will be to revert to Bose QuietComfort 15 noise canceling headphones. The Sony ones are way too heavy and press too hard against my reading glasses. Also, the only noise reduction they seem to provide is through heavy foam padding rather than active noise canceling. Quite disappointing actually, but a good life lesson: do not fix what’s not broken!

Over the years, I’ve accumulated over 2,000,000 actual miles flying for business. This taught me a few things about packing. I’ve tried countless combinations of bags and suitcases, but in the end, simplicity took over. Here are the lessons that I learned along the way:
Less is more
The lighter, the better
Never check anything in
Stuff multiple small bags into a bigger one
Use a backpack instead of a rolling suitcase to free up both hands
I’m going to spend the next 10 days in Japan. For this trip, here is what my full setup looks like. It’s built around the awesome Brooks Islington Rucksack that I’m using on a daily basis to carry groceries on my bicycle. In there, I’ve put the following:
Two lightweight TUMI cubes for clothes
TUMI toiletry bag
Incase laptop bag with the latest MacBook Pro 13” and an iPad
SONY noise-reducing headset
I carry changes of clothes sufficient for 5 days so that I only need to do laundry once during the entire trip. A small umbrella and my swimming gear are stuffed in the toiletry bag. For its part, the laptop bag also contains various small bags for cables, adapters, eye care, etc.
The whole setup is light enough that I can carry it around without any back pain.
Ready to go!
Over the years, I’ve accumulated over 2,000,000 actual miles flying for business. This taught me a few things about packing. I’ve tried countless combinations of bags and suitcases, but in the end, simplicity took over. Here are the lessons that I learned along the way:
Less is more
The lighter, the better
Never check anything in
Stuff multiple small bags into a bigger one
Use a backpack instead of a rolling suitcase to free up both hands
I’m going to spend the next 10 days in Japan. For this trip, here is what my full setup looks like. It’s built around the awesome Brooks Islington Rucksack that I’m using on a daily basis to carry groceries on my bicycle. In there, I’ve put the following:
Two lightweight TUMI cubes for clothes
TUMI toiletry bag
Incase laptop bag with the latest MacBook Pro 13” and an iPad
SONY noise-reducing headset
I carry changes of clothes sufficient for 5 days so that I only need to do laundry once during the entire trip. A small umbrella and my swimming gear are stuffed in the toiletry bag. For its part, the laptop bag also contains various small bags for cables, adapters, eye care, etc.
The whole setup is light enough that I can carry it around without any back pain.
Ready to go!

Over the years, I’ve accumulated over 2,000,000 actual miles flying for business. This taught me a few things about packing. I’ve tried countless combinations of bags and suitcases, but in the end, simplicity took over. Here are the lessons that I learned along the way:

  • Less is more
  • The lighter, the better
  • Never check anything in
  • Stuff multiple small bags into a bigger one
  • Use a backpack instead of a rolling suitcase to free up both hands

I’m going to spend the next 10 days in Japan. For this trip, here is what my full setup looks like. It’s built around the awesome Brooks Islington Rucksack that I’m using on a daily basis to carry groceries on my bicycle. In there, I’ve put the following:

  • Two lightweight TUMI cubes for clothes
  • TUMI toiletry bag
  • Incase laptop bag with the latest MacBook Pro 13” and an iPad
  • SONY noise-reducing headset

I carry changes of clothes sufficient for 5 days so that I only need to do laundry once during the entire trip. A small umbrella and my swimming gear are stuffed in the toiletry bag. For its part, the laptop bag also contains various small bags for cables, adapters, eye care, etc.

The whole setup is light enough that I can carry it around without any back pain.

Ready to go!

Trip to Singapore

I’ll be in Singapore from November 14 to November 26 in order to work with Hugues on an advanced version of our spreadsheet importer and to lay the foundations for our upcoming ETL tool. I will also take advantage of that trip to make sure that byte-perfect round-tripping between spreadsheets and database objects is fully working. Ping me if you’d like to meet us there.

France trip

The whole STOIC team will be in Paris, France, from November 12 to November 16. Also, I will be in New York on November 8 and in the afternoon on November 16. If you would like to meet us, drop us a line. We should have a pretty amazing demo by then…

I’m on the road one to two weeks a month and fly over 250,000 miles every year. With such a nomadic lifestyle, I’m always looking for ways to simplify my travels bags and shed some pounds. Here comes the Philips Sonicare HX9332/05 electric toothbrush with USB charging case. Why does it matter? Well, USB charging means one less charger to carry… Now, I wish Panasonic would do the same with the ES-LV81-K shaver. And, by the way, why do they have to come up with such cryptic names for their products?

Our Asia trip is coming to an end, and it was extremely productive. We will be back in China, Japan, and Singapore in early October. In the meantime, here is a shot of the sunset I could enjoy from my hotel room yesterday evening before going to the Meilongzhen restaurant with Ken.

European tour

Our entire team will gather in France in November for our yearly executive offsite. We will take advantage of this trip to hold Friends of Sutoiku Open Tab events in a few cities. If yours is missing and you’d like meet us, let us know. For the time being, here are the ones we’ve picked:

  • Berlin
  • London
  • Paris

We hope to see you then!

Office space in Shanghai

Today, Ken and I visited four possible locations for our upcoming office space in Shanghai. After a few discussions, we narrowed down our options to the BEA Finance Tower managed by Regus and the Citigroup Tower managed by Servcorp.

Both are within walking distance of our hotel and provide excellent amenities. Regus has a larger base of offices around the world, but we were very impressed by Servcorp’s IT services. Prices are comparable, even though we must be careful about variable components.

We will visit a few more spaces in the next couple of days and make a final selection by the end of the week. We will initially start with a virtual office in order to get our Chinese subsidiary incorporated as soon as possible, then move into the actual office sometime in September.