Propellor-head Tibetan IT History timeline links add

Tibetans are developing a respectable history and traditions in the IT field. Some people even say that the same qualities of mind that make Tibetan monks excel in Buddhist studies and debate, also make Tibetan techies good at IT.

Timeline of Tibetan IT history

  • 600 AD to present Tibetan monks develop the deep "technology" of Buddhism with wisdom and compassion. History of Buddhism Tibet
  • 1903-1951 Gendun Chophel དགེ་འདུན་ཆོས་འཕེལ travels, studies and writes. Tibet, India
  • 1940s His Holiness Dalai Lama explores and repairs watches, movie projectors, and other mechanical things. The Dalai Lama on the Scientific Method, Technological Innovation and Spiritual Development Tibet
  • 1990s Tibetan IT develops within Chinese-occupied Tibet. Chinese-occupied Tibet
  • 1990s Internet in India - its development affects Tibetans in exile in India History at Tibet-in-exile, India
  • early 1990s Tibet support groups and exile Tibetans are using mail lists, email and mail lists to communicate and spread information. Tibet-in-exile, Inji assistance
  • 1991 Thubten Samdup joins CanTibNet (which later became World Tibet Network – WTN). Tibet-in-exile
  • 199? Tibetan Computing Resource Centre (TCRC) founded at CTA. TCRC at Tibet-in-exile
  • 1990 First email sent from Tibetan Government-in-exile in Dharamshala. Tibet-in-exile email history, by Bhuchung K Tsering Tibet-in-exile, Inji assistance
  • 1993 Sonam Dargyay founds mail list TIBET-L (which later becomes part of WTN list). Tibet-in-exile
  • 1994 Nima Dorjee and Peter Kauffner set up the talk.politics.tibet newsgroup Tibet-in-exile, Inji assistance
  • 1996 rolls out - official website of the Central Tibetan Administration (Tibetan government-in-exile) Tibet-in-exile, Inji assistance
  • 1997 GangKyi gets wired up and introduced to the web. Dan Haig tells us about it — and here's more at Tibet-in-exile, Inji assistance
  • 1998 Use of websites, webcasting, and other internet services grows rapidly; the web is soon full of websites built by Tibetans. Tibet-in-exile, Inji assistance
  • 200? Tibetan Computing Resource Centre (TCRC) develops TCRC Bod-Yig Tibetan font for use in printed publications (not a Unicode font). TCRC Bodyig Tibet-in-exile, India assistance
  • 2000s-present Woeser ཚེ་རིང་འོད་ཟེར writes extensively on Tibet and China, through her blog, Twitter, and other net outlets., Twitter @degewa, English translations at HighPeaksPureEarth Tibet
  • 2000 Tibetan news site rolls out. Becomes the main source of exile Tibetan news, with vibrant message boards. Tibet-in-exile
  • 2001 is a popular website for Tibetans in India, with a chat program widely used by Tibetans. Tibet-in-exile
  • 2002 Lobsang Wangyal begins developing websites for world-wide communication of Tibetan popular culture. Tibet-in-exile
  • 2003 to present An explosion of Tibetan websites and blogs spread knowledge of Tibetan Buddhism, culture, and people to the world. Tibet-in-exile
  • 2003 to present Growth of Tibetan websites, blogs, email, and Skype/Yahoo Messenger inside Tibet, enable Tibetans to communicate, even though under restraints, inside and outside Chinese-occupied Tibet. Tibet-in-exile, Chinese-occupied Tibet
  • 2003 to present Exile Tibetans are making their mark in India and around the world with their own IT-based businesses. Tibet-in-exile
  • 2005 TennorNet provides cable network to Hunsur. TennorNet Tibet-in-exile
  • 2005 AirJaldi provides education and training to Tibetans and Indians in wireless networking, and wifi connectivity to NGOs, building one of the largest rural WiFi networks in the world — the Dharamshala Wireless Mesh Network. Tibet-in-exile, Inji assistance
  • 2005 Individual Tibetan sysadmins are using Linux on their office servers (Dawa Tsering, Men-Tsee-Khang; Dorji Tsering, TCRC; ...) Tibet-in-exile
  • 2005 rolls out, built and maintained by Jigme Tsering of CTA. Tibet-in-exile
  • 2006? Thubten Samdup founds Dharamshala Information Technology Group (DITG) with Phuntsok Dorjee, Computer Coordinator of TCV Schools. Tibet-in-exile
  • 2006? Phuntsok Dorjee founds Tibetan Technology Center in Dharamshala. Tibet-in-exile
  • 2006 Ven. Lobsang Monlam develops Tibetan font and related applications, and spreads them via CDs and the web: Tibet-in-exile
  • 2006 Tenzin Sonam develops TibetSites, an exhaustive directory of Tibetan websites. Tibet-in-exile
  • 2006 China Tibetology Research Center attempts to standardize Tibetan (and Chinese) words for Information Technology terms Standardizing Tibetan Terms of IT [PDF 1.2 MB] Chinese-occupied Tibet
  • 2006-2007 TennorNet provides wireless internet services to Bylakuppe and Mundgod Tennornet Tibet-in-exile
  • 2007? to present More websites are built in Tibetan language as the technology improves. Please add what you know! Tibet-in-exile, Chinese-occupied Tibet
  • 2007? to present Tibetans and Chinese are using email, messaging and web to communicate with each other. Please add what you know! Tibet-in-exile, Chinese-occupied Tibet
  • 2007? to present More Tibetan websites are moving to CMSs such as WordPress and Joomla, and using the internationalisation capabilities of those CMSs to present content in Tibetan language. Please add what you know! Tibet-in-exile
  • 2007 Tibetan individuals in Dharamshala begin trying Ubuntu and PCOS Linux on their home computers and laptops. Tibet-in-exile
  • 2007 Tibetan NGOs in Dharamshala begin adopting Linux for some or all of their office computers; use of linux gains momentum through the support of Tenzin Norgay, David Huang, Dawa Tsering, Phuntsok Dorjee, and ... ?? Tibet-in-exile
  • 2008? to present His Holiness Dalai Lama encourages Tibetans and others to reach out to Chinese inside China, and Tibetans follow suit with more websites and online communication. Dalai Lama periodically comments on the usefulness of technology, and reminds us that it is only a tool, and cannot by itself solve our problems or lead us to compassion. Articles – Dalai Lama and technology Please add what you know! Tibet-in-exile, Chinese-occupied Tibet
  • 2008 to present More major Tibetan news sites roll out: by Lobsang Wangyal, and by Yeshe Choesang,, and more. Tibet-in-exile
  • 2008 The Monlam fonts version 3 released. Completely designed and developed by Ven. Lobsang Monlam, and now completely Unicode. Monlam fonts version 3 home, download at TibetanGeeks Tibet-in-exile
  • 2008 TennorNet provides wireless internet services to McLeod Ganj and Dharamshala, including to the offices of the Tibetan government-in-exile. Tennornet Tibet-in-exile
  • 2008 Tibet Luozang Digital Science & Technology Ltd. Lhasa-based Tibetan enterprise, develops Tib-Ch-Eng digital dictionary handheld device. A few of these have made their way to Dharamshala. Story at Phayul Chinese-occupied Tibet
  • 2008 The KalonTripa 2011 Initiative founded by Thubten Samdup, takes the Tibetan democratic process to the web with a website for nominations of candidate for 2011 election of Kalon Tripa Tibet-in-exile
  • 2009, website of the Central Tibetan Administration, is rebuilt using modern web technologies by Tibetan staff of TCRC. Tibet-in-exile
  • 2009 TennorNet runs first private fiber-optic cable to McLeod Ganj and Bhagsu from Dharamshala, and expands security on the network. Providing wireless internet services to His Holiness Private Office and CTA (Central Tibetan Administration), and continuing to improve services in McLeod Ganj/Dharamshala. TennorNet Tibet-in-exile
  • 2009 First Tibetan from India to go to Massachusets Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US. Tibet-in-exile
  • 2010 "The Tibetan blogosphere has created opportunities for Tibetan netizens that would be unimaginable in the offline world. Keeping in mind the state of internet censorship in the People’s Republic of China today, these new spaces can be seen as new outlets but also as new areas involving personal risk." — Article at by Dechen Pemba, creator of More at Chinese-occupied Tibet Tibet-in-exile
  • 2010 More websites appear for candidates for 2011 election of Kalon Tripa, strengthening the Tibetan democratic process, and more Tibet-in-exile
  • ~2011 A big jump in availability and use of laptops and Internet, made possible by lower taxes on machines, and better connection in McLeod, is followed by a big jump in Tibetan techie skills and awareness. Tibet-in-exile
  • 2012 Paid position in McLeod Ganj for consultant from Tibet-in-exile
  • ~2012 Extensive use of Facebook, chat programs, and other social networks keeps Tibetans inside Tibet and worldwide, all connected. Tibet-in-exile, Chinese-occupied Tibet
  • 2013 Techies at CTA TCRC start blog Tibet-in-exile
  • ~2013 Increasing use of smartphones increases Tibetans' connection with each other and with the world. Tibet-in-exile, Chinese-occupied Tibet
  • 2013 May Tseten Dolkar starts web development company TibetanITech Story at Tibet-in-exile
  • 2013 December First website built for Dalai Lama Institute by Tibetan students there. Tibet-in-exile
  • 2013 TibetanITech Saturday meetups Tibet-in-exile
  • 2013 Digital Dhasa mail list, initiated by Tseten Dolkar and TibetanITech, connects techies from McLeod Ganj to Rakkar. Tibet-in-exile
  • 2013 September Tibetan Web Design shifts to McLeod Ganj — Sangyal Dorjee Tibet-in-exile
  • 2014 The Geek Room begins on Jogiwara road, McLeod Ganj — growing out of Thupten Samdup's DITG, Phuntsok Dorjee's Tibetan Technology Center, TibetanITech and DigitalDhasa Saturday meet-ups, Srijan Technologies, Ghoomakad/Infinity hackspace, and more. Tibet-in-exile
  • 2014 March 29 First null talk in Dharamshala, and formation of null Dharamshala chapter, at Sikyong Hall, GangKyi. Tibet-in-exile

Tibetans and IT

History of the Internet

  • A people's history of the internet from Arpanet in 1969 to today; at
  • The first web page; archived at
  • Note on the subject of this page

    Nothing stands alone, and none of us does anything all by themself! So, many non-Tibetans contributed in many ways to enable Tibetans to do these things. Many other sentient beings contributed to enable all of us to do the things we do as well! Once we start acknowledging, where to stop? Therefore, due to limited time and resources, this page confines its scope to the Tibetans themselves.

    Many more histories are yet to be written; all others involved should be acknowledged. We would be happy to post links to related histories, such as the use of IT in the Tibetan movement, contributions by non-Tibetans, etc. Just send to us.

    Add history

    What do you know about the history of Tibetans in technology? Send to us and we will publish it here.

    This site built with Open Source: html/css, php, apache, linux, vim, air, water.
    — and also with the awesome Lenovo ThinkPad —
    which is made in and working for — thank you, China!