ThimphuTech was the first technology blog in Bhutan. We started writing it in 2009, just as broadband and mobile internet started to take off. (Although internet in Bhutan was launched in 1999, it was either super-slow or super-expensive, and was only used by a selected few).

In the blog, we wrote about technology and food, but also about plenty of other stuff. The blog became popular and influential in Bhutan. A companion bi-weekly column -- Ask Boaz -- was published for many years in the Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper. (The complete Kuensel columns are available as an ebook, Blogging with Dragons).

We stopped updating the blog when we left Bhutan in 2014, but the information within the posts can still prove useful, and thus we decided to keep it online.

We thank all our readers.
Tashi Delek,
Boaz & Galit.

Friday, November 5, 2010

N900 Dzongkha support now included in ukeyboard

We previously blogged about Dzongkha support for the N900 smartphone. Some more good news: Our Dzongkha keyboard is now included as one of the standard languages in the popular ukeyboard package for the N900.

Mr. Roman Moravcik, the developer of ukeyboard, has kindly agreed to include Dzongkha in the software package.

You're probably asking yourself, what does this mean? Well, this means that if you have the N900 phone, you can easily and simply enable its Dzongkha capabilities by simply installing the ukeyboard application. No special tweaking or hacking required!

Here are some more Frequently Asked Questions the N900 and Dzongkha:
  1. You keep mentioning the N900. Can this work on other phones?
    Unfortunately, the answer is no. N900 runs Linux which supports the rendering of Dzongkha and easily programmable keyboards. These features are not currently available on most other phones, including the iPhone, Android-based phones, and most other Nokia phones.
  2. Can you send an SMS in Dzongkha to other phones?
    You can send an SMS in Dzongkha, but the receiver - unless he or she also has a Dzongkha-enabled Nokia N900 - will probably not be able to read it, since most phones cannot display Dzongkha characters. The Dzongkha characters in these phones will usually appear as empty squares.
  3. Where can I get the N900?
    Nokia started selling the N900 in India a few months ago. The MRP is a whopping Rs 25,000 (around US$570 in today's exchange rates). The price of the N900 in the U.S. is "only" $399 (about Nu 17500). Hopefully the price of Dzongkha-supporting mobile phones will become affordable in the upcoming years.
  4. What about those cheap Nu. 1500 Nokia handsets that are sold in the market?
    Most cheap-and-best Nokia phones (and also the more expensive ones) do not support Dzongkha. Technically, these handsets have enough computing power to support Dzongkha rendering, but it basically up to Nokia to provide this support.