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, November 3, 2012

Recovering delete files from a pen drive (Part 1 of 2, K2 #49)

Question of the Week
Is there any way to get back our files which we deleted from a pen drive?
— Rinzin

Answer (Part 1 of 2)
Dear Rinzin,

It could have been nice if files that are deleted from a pen drive would magically shift to the Recycle Bin, wouldn’t it? Still, never lose hope: It is often possible to recover deleted files from pen drives (as well as external hard drives and memory cards). When you delete a file, it is marked as deleted, but its contents are not immediately erased. As long as the data is not overwritten, there is a good chance that the file can be undeleted. So first, make sure not to create any new files or edit existing ones in this pen drive. By not tampering with files on the pen drive, you increase the chances of recovery.

Next, we will need a utility that scans the drive, looks for deleted files, and then salvages your treasures. One such utility is Recuva, a small but powerful program: In addition to undeleting files from your pen drive, Recuva can also try to recover files that were deleted from the Recycle Bin! First, download Recuva at After installing, run the program and follow the prompts. You will be asked which types of files you wish to recover (pictures, music, documents, all files), and from where. Choose “Media card” for your pen drive. Recuva will scan the pen drive and find your files, which you can then magically retrieve by clicking the Recover button. Recuva is a snap to use.

The ease of undeleting files, by the way, also means that if you hand over a pen drive (or hard drive) to your friend, then if she is curious (and computer savvy), she can easily find information on that drive that you thought she’ll never see. How to deal with that situation? That will be the topic of our next column.

Reduce screen time

Does your child spend hours in front of the TV, computer, iPhone, or PlayStation? There is mounting evidence that excessive screen time is linked to various health and development problems, from obesity to attention deficit disorders. American teenagers spend around 8 hours daily in front various screens, and their urban Bhutanese peers are probably not too far behind. Experts recommend limiting exposure to ½ to 2 hours daily according to age, but not for babies: While it's tempting to use the TV or an iPhone as a babysitter, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises zero screen time before the age of 3.
AgeDaily Screen Hours
12-151 ½

Readers are encouraged to submit technology-related questions to

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