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, December 29, 2012

Upgrading Windows (K2 #53)

Question of the Week
When I tried to install Windows 8 on my Dell Inspiron N5110 laptop, it didn’t work and the screen became black. The same problem happened to my friend who owns the same model. Please help.
— Kencho Nima, Sherubtse College

Dear Kencho,

Welcome to the risky world of Windows upgrades! Luckily for you, other owners of the same laptop model (Dell Inspiron N5110) have had similar issues, and there are a few workarounds. In fact, when you search Google for “windows 8 dell inspiron n5110” , some of the top results are forum discussions around the infamous black screen issue. Many of these discussions also include solutions. I suggest you follow the threads, and try the workarounds. Here are two such threads: and

One needs to think carefully about such upgrades. If your current operating system is serving you well, a major upgrade is something that you should avoid or postpone. One of the main advantages of Windows 8 is support for touch screens, but most existing laptops do not have a touch screen. Windows 7 is a good, solid operating system, and will serve people’s existing computers for years to come.

For people still set on making the leap, Microsoft offers the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant utility at Download and run the utility to check if your hardware and software are compatible with the new operating system. Even if you get the green light, upgrades often go wrong, so you should always backup your computer first and have a Windows 7 CD in case the Windows 8 installation fails.

New Year Celebrations Around the World

The first place in the world where the New Year is annually celebrated is Kiritimati, an island in the Pacific Ocean. Also known as Christmas Island, Kiritimati is in the furthest timezone (UTC+14), which is 8 hours ahead of Bhutan (UTC+6). To see when 2013 starts around the world, check

Time zones can be confusing, so to find out the current date and time anywhere in the world, Google is your best friend. Search for “Time in Kiritimati” (or any other location) for a quick and authoritative answer.

Readers are encouraged to submit technology-related questions to