Afterword

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.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Google Plus, and more (K2 #21)

Questions of the Week
What is Google Plus?
-- R. Chhetri

Answer
Dear R.,
We are all familiar with Facebook, the social network service, and arguably the most popular website in Bhutan. Facebook currently has more than 750 million users, with around 60,000 of them in Bhutan. Chatting on Facebook has become a popular pastime here. It's so popular, in fact, that many organizations block it during office hours! Google, which many of us use for searching the internet as well as for email (Gmail), has been trying to compete with Facebook.

Launched about two months ago, Google Plus (plus.google.com), also known as Google+, is a new social network run by Google. In many ways it is similar to Facebook: You can update your status, share photos with friends, see updates from your friends, recommend items, etc. But there are also differences. One of the most important features in Google+ is "Circles", which allows you to organize the people you know into different groups. For example, you can put your relatives in one circle, your colleagues in another, etc. When you share something, you can decide which circle to share it with. After all, there might be some photos which you'd like to share with your charos, but prefer your uncles not see (and vice versa!). Google+ also has a terrific mobile app for the iPhone and Android phones.

How to register to Google+? You can currently join Google+ only by invitation from a member. If you're interested, ask someone who's already on Google+, or drop me an email.

How can I convert a .MOV video file to a .WMV file?
-- Rinzin Phelgay

Dear Rinzin,
MOV and WMV are two different video file formats. MOV is the standard Apple format known as QuickTime, and WMV ("Windows Media Video") is a popular Microsoft Windows format. To play a MOV file, you need a QuickTime player, which is standard on Apple computers, but is also available for Windows. (www.apple.com/quicktime/download). If you need to convert between the two, try Super C, a free program which you can download from www.erightsoft.com/SUPER.html. Check out http://goo.gl/fYM7P for more information on using Super C for video file conversion.

It takes more than 6 minutes for my Acer Aspire laptop to boot. How can I fix this problem?
-- Sonam Dorji

Dear Sonam,
Many things can cause a slow boot, including a hardware malfunction, a device driver issue, or even a virus. Sometimes the computer is just not fast enough to handle the many programs that are part of the start-up process. Diagnosing slow reboots is not a simple task, but you might give Soluto (www.soluto.com) a try. Soluto is a free utility that is designed to diagnose and speed up sluggish Windows systems.

Readers are encouraged to submit technology-related questions to boaz@thimphutech.com