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, May 5, 2012

Disabling Unwanted Toolbars (K2 #36)

Question of the Week

My Internet Explorer is packed with so many of these toolbars. How do I get rid of them?
-- Sonam P., private sector


We are facing a real-estate crisis in Bhutan. No, I'm not talking about finding a reasonably-priced flat in 
Thimphu. I'm talking about your screen, which is a precious and limited resource. Think of it as expensive real-estate. It should be used for viewing web content, not useless toolbars! These toolbars often creep into your browser when you download and install free software from dubious sources. Fortunately, getting rid of these toolbars relatively easily.

To disable the toolbars, choose the Internet Explorer Manage add-ons menu option, then disable as many add-ons as you wish. Another option is starting Internet Explorer without any add-ons. Just click on the Start button (the round button at the bottom left), select All Programs->Accessories->System->Internet Explorer (No Add-ons). Consider also removing the toolbars by going to the Control Panel, selecting "Programs and Features", and deleting anything that looks suspicious. If you are using Google Chrome as your browser, the toolbar problem is not as bad as with Internet Explorer, but if a toolbar did manage to creep in, select Tools, then Extensions, and disable - or better yet, remove - all the superfluous toolbars. If only solving the housing shortage would be that simple...

In addition to getting more real estate for your web content, getting rid of these toolbars will also accelerate your computer, since toolbars slow it down. And your privacy will be better protected, as many of these toolbars track your actions and send that information to who-knows-where.

Google Drive

Got a Google account? Check out the new Google Drive (, an online storage service that allows you to save your files in the "cloud". Uploading a file to the cloud is very easy: You just drop it into a directory on your computer. The first 5GB are free. Existing services such as Microsoft's SkyDrive (, 7GB) and the popular DropBox (, 2GB) offer similar features.

Readers are encouraged to submit technology-related questions to

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