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.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Google Books Not Available in Bhutan

A couple of months ago became operational, and with it a suite of other Google domains and services, including and

One domain, however, was forgotten: Searching in Google will often return results that eventually lead the user into, but instead of landing on a book page, you will get a drawing of a broken robot with a "503. That's an error." message.

The only workaround that I found is to go to the address bar, replace the ".bt" with ".com", and hit enter. This will load the initial page, but scrolling to see more book pages does not work. The browser keeps showing the "Loading..." message.

The bottom line: Users in Bhutan cannot currently use Google Books.

Update (23/5/2013): Two weeks after posting this, functionality has been restored.

Broken robot

Book pages are stuck at "Loading..."

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