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.

Monday, December 27, 2010

French Toast at Big Bakery

Finding breakfast in Thimphu is a challenge. Seasons Pizzeria used to have some breakfast items on their menu, but the last time I checked the items were removed. So it was a nice surprise today to find a new item on Big Bakery's menu: French toast. The menu was recently revamped by Yoko san, the bakery's new pastry chef.

When you order Big Bakery's french toast you'll get three warm, thick slices of the bakery's Pullman bread, dipped in milk and egg, gently fried and finally dusted with confectioners' sugar. The damage: only Nu 30. Quite possibly the best value in town, and a delicious and inexpensive way to start your morning.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Another reason to use Google Talk

This morning I discovered that I couldn't log into Skype. After a few futile attempts, I checked out the Skype homepage and found the following message:

Needing to call to an out-of-country colleague, I resorted to Google Talk. Within gmail, I quickly turned on Google Chat (at the bottom of my gmail page, required for making phone calls), made myself invisible (using "set status here" on left side-bar; to avoid disturbances during the call) and then I hit the "Call Phone" button (left side-bar). The call quality was crystal clear.


I just checked my Skype connection, and was able to log into my account and hold a reasonably long audio call. The error message still appears on the Skype webpage, but their status update page says that they are working on fixing the problem and that "more and more people are now able to use Skype once again". Their blog tells that they are experiencing very high usage right now -- approximately over 10 million users.

Is this due to the upcoming Christmas holiday? What will happen on New Year's?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Free calls from Bhutan to the U.S. and Canada (Cont'd)

A few months ago we blogged about using Gmail to make free calls from Bhutan to any phone number in the U.S. and Canada. This free offer was initially destined to be good until the end of 2010. Good news: Google recently announced that they are extending the offer throughout 2011.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Songs and bytes (K2 #4)

Question of the Week
How many songs can I store on a 2GB pen drive?
-- Sonam T., Paro

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dzongkha Rendering on the N900

I got the following email from one of our readers in China, which I read on the Nokia N900. Here's a screenshot of the email on the N900. The answer, apparently, is in the screenshot!

Dzongkha on Amazon Kindle E-Book Reader

An e-book reader is an electronic gadget that is used to read digital books. The most popular e-book reader is the Amazon Kindle. Here's an example of reading Dzongkha on the Kindle. The Kindle uses "electronic ink", which means the content can be viewed in direct sunlight, much like a real book.

Facebook pages for very small organizations

More than 60% of Bhutan's Internet users have a Facebook account, and the number is still growing. This suggests a simple and free solution for very small organizations who wish to enjoy a web presence, but want to avoid the hassle associated with maintaining a full-fledged website: An official Facebook page. A Facebook page is free to setup, easy to maintain (no technical knowledge is required), and can help to provide basic information about the organization.
For example, the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck Public Library, which does not have an official website, recently created such a page, which allows the library to post information about opening hours, upcoming events, etc. Users can easily follow the events by "Like"-ing the page.
To create an official Facebook page, start here. More information is available here.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Computer hang ups (K2 #3)

Question of the Week
My computer hangs up very frequently. It is an Intex machine with a quad core processor and 2GB of RAM. I've tried reformatting the hard-drive but it didn't help. What can be the reason?
-- Rikzen Wangduel, Thimphu