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

No news is good news

Some readers have been wondering whether my recent drop in activity on this blog was the sign of something else happening, and whether my decision to move to Singapore was in some way related to it. Well, wonder no more: my blogging activity has decreased over the past few weeks simply because I’ve been busy preparing for the relocation of my family, and because I’ve spent a lot of time trying to learn how to fly a Cheetah XLS.

As you know, we’re currently working our way through the many bugs that need to be fixed before we can ship our final beta. While the rest of the team is doing that, there is very little I can contribute in terms of product development. In fact, the less I contribute, the less new features are being introduced, and the faster we can ship our product, which really is what we all want at the end of the day.

With that in mind, when an invitation came to join a group of 7 or 8 pilots to fly five planes from South Africa to Namibia over the course of three weeks, it did not take me long to sign up for it. As a result, I’m leaving for London on April the 28th, then flying to Johannesburg on May the 2nd. I’ll be back in Palo Alto on May the 28th. In the meantime, I must hope that most known bugs will be fixed, and that our new distributed meta-data cache and our meta-data upgrade framework will be fully operational.

Conclusion: don’t expect much blogging for the coming five weeks…

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!