The Czechs love their beer. Monks living in the region started brewing in monasteries just a few centuries AD. The Czechs gave the gift of Pilsner to the world back in the mid-1800s, and ever since then citizens have supported their own industry by consuming more beer per capita than any other country in the world. These days, Czechs drink on average about 161 liters of beer per person each year. Not surprising when bottled beer is cheaper than bottled water!
“Beer is known to free up your brain for creative problem solving,” said Jindřich Kubec, Director of Threat Intelligence, “and since AVAST has some of the highest detection ratings of any antivirus out there, it shows that we are doing lots of “problem solving.”
Back in the day, refined sugar came in unwieldy big blocks that had to be sawed at, hacked, and cut through. This physical effort resulted in numerous boo-boos and aching fingers holding onto dainty tea cups (Czechs don’t always drink beer ). One day, the wife of Jakub Kryštof Rad, the man who ran the local sugar refinery, grew tired of having to bandage her appendages every time she wanted a little sweetener. She asked him why he couldn’t package sugar in a more manageable size for teacups. Mrs. Rad inspired her husband to create what we know today as sugar cubes.
“Speaking of sugar,” said Vladimir Saur, Traffic Manager at AVAST, “every day someone brings chocolate to the office, and we are living proof that dark chocolate improves brain function. Well, only when our boss leaves us at least a little bit!”
As unique as a fingerprint
CSI fans will dig what 19th-century physician and scientist Jan Evangelista Purkyně revealed in his work in physiology. His discovery that all human fingerprints are unique and his subsequent classification of fingerprint patterns advanced criminology and forensic science. A century later, Czech scientist Jan Janský learned that human blood could be classified into four distinct groups, which led the way to the A-B-O system we use today.
“Just like Sherlock Holmes hot on a the trail of a “whodunit” mystery, the researchers in the avast! Virus Lab follow clues to discover what malware does, why it does it, how to classify it, and most importantly, how we can stop it,” said Filip Chytrý , avast! Virus Lab researcher.
Mick Jagger lights up the castle
You will think you have entered a fairy tale when visiting the Czech Republic. With over 2,000 castles, the country has the highest density of castles, ruins, chateaux, and villas in the world. The most significant of them all is the Prague Castle, the largest medieval castle in Europe.
“One of the attractions to working for our great company, is its location. Prague is a fairy-tale city with magical beauty,“ said Marcela Římalová, Senior Worldwide Recruiter for AVAST Software. “After the Velvet Revolution, The Rolling Stones were invited by President Havel to play a concert. They noticed that the Prague Castle was dark at night, so they graciously paid for it and four of its grand halls to be illuminated. It’s a view we still enjoy today.”
avast! Free Antivirus
Powered, no doubt, by Czech beer and chocolate, Pavel Baudiš, a young researcher at Prague’s legendary Mathematical Machines Research Institute came upon a sample of the Vienna Virus on a floppy disk. After he wrote a program to remove it, he showed it to his friend and colleague Eduard Kučera and, together they started what’s now the world’s most popular and trusted antivirus software. AVAST Software is celebrating its 25th anniversary soon and launching the newest version - avast! 2014.
“When we started this company behind the Iron Curtain in 1988, we could not imagine that it would grow to protect more computers worldwide than any other firm,” said Eduard Kučera and Pavel Baudiš, founders of AVAST Software, “No one can say what the next 25 years will bring. But one thing is certain, the AVAST team – now spread over several countries – is talented, energetic, and committed to making sure that everyone in the world has access to computer security that works.”
Our 190 millionth registered avast! user, Julie P. and her friend Steve, were given a free trip to Prague, home base of AVAST Software, in appreciation of Steve’s recommendation. Steve recommended that Julie try avast!, and it turned our better than she expected.
“Since three out of every ten new users come because of a friend, it’s time we also recognize a recommender,” said Vince Steckler, CEO of AVAST Software. “I am pleased we have been able to identify both the 190 millionth registered user and the friend that recommended avast!.”
Julie is a British national living in Spain. She decided to get avast! Free antivirus on the advice of Steve, a helpful retired friend. And when it came time to install avast! on her computer, it was Steve that downloaded and installed it.
“As a recommender and IT helper, people like Stephen have a big impact on AVAST and have helped drive growth last year from 141 million to 189 million registered users,” said Mr. Steckler. Read more…
Fabricia, our famous 160 millionth avast! user registration from Brazil, is coming to Prague with her husband! We at AVAST Software are all excited about their visit and looking forward to hosting them here – especially since it turns out that we are inadvertently sponsoring their honeymoon.
I decided to ask them a few questions before the trip, just to see what their expectations were.
1. Have you ever won any valuable prize before?
Fabricia: No, neither Eder (new husband) nor I have ever been awarded with any prize whatsoever.
2. How does it feel to be the 160,000,000th avast user registration?
Receiving the email notification that we won a trip to Prague was initially a huge surprise. At the beginning, I thought it was a scam message. However, after confirming that it wasn’t spam, we were very happy… even euphoric. Especially since, as I just mentioned, it was the first time I actually won something and that the value of this award is outstanding. On top of that, we were planning to get married, so we agreed that this trip would be slightly postponed so it could be our honeymoon. We are sooooooo happy and looking forward to it.
3. What do you expect from the trip?
Our expectations are the best possible, and we are anxious to meet AVAST people. We’ve also heard that Prague is incredibly beautiful and we will have an opportunity to visit many interesting places. Read more…
A Brazilian is the 160 millionth registered user of avast! antivirus and has won a sweetheart trip to Prague for two.
In fact, it is such a sweet deal, it will be Fabricia’s honeymoon and she will come with her husband. It took so long to convince her that the offer of an expenses-paid trip for two to Prague was real – for someone who had just registered a copy of avast! Free Antivirus and to arrange the trip for her and her new husband – that AVAST has almost added another 20 million registered users in the meantime. We just hope it will be much easier to give away the next trip to Prague.
But, just the facts.
On May 27, Fabricia downloaded and registered a copy of avast! Free Antivirus for her home computer. That’s all. And she went on with her normal life with its facets of work (health sector), love (fiancée), and life together (planning a wedding). And she had absolutely no idea of the commotion that her simple registration would cause over 10,000 km away in the Czech Republic.
In Prague, Julia Szymanska, our AVAST Community Manager, had been getting ready for the registration counter to reach the 160 million mark. With around 100,000 registrations a day, these numbers change quickly. Thankfully, Fabricia had registered with a valid email address. But communication was not easy as there was no response to the first few emails. For starters, she does not speak English and then she thought the emails were spam.
While some of us were ready to give up, our Brazilian colleague in AVAST took over the task. Marcus Googled her email address and name to find her work address and then gave her a direct phone call. After several rounds of communication, he succeeded in convincing her that the AVAST offer was real and that she should really accept it. And when we learned that she would be soon be getting married, this put the expenses-paid trip into a new, very romantic perspective.
In two days, our newlyweds will arrive in Prague. For the two of them, we hope this will be the sweetheart trip they remember for the rest of their lives. And for the rest of the world, it should be a reminder that a free antivirus can be very good to its users AND please pay attention to your emails. After all, we are about ready to notify the 180 millionth user.
In late 2003, I was offered a job in France. After about a 5-second-long debate with my family, the yes decision was reached and we were ready to go. Living in France was an excellent experience especially after I understood that beer is not la bière but “un demi” and asking for coffee is useless (and it’s absolutely useless trying to say it with different accent) because what you really need to say is “grand crème”. The only thing which I never managed to do was to understand the bank teller who spoke excellent French but neither English nor Czech. And on my side, my French vocabulary never really got much beyond “un demi et grand crème s’il vous plaît“ and so making money transfers or paying bills directly was simply not possible. The time had arrived for me to learn how to use online banking. Read more…
In case you didn’t know, almost half (!) of all home computers in the world are protected by antivirus products coming from the Czech Republic. That’s because both AVAST antivirus and AVG have been and are still developed here. This does make me wonder why: Why here? The Czech Republic is a small country and even though its borders are surrounded by mountain ranges we are hardly a valley – at least to say – of silicon. As far as I can tell, there is no obvious reason for this. Speaking of technology, the only other thing we gave to world is the word “robot” (invented by Czech novel & play writer Karel Capek who used it in his play R.U.R. in 1921).
So why antivirus? I really don’t know but I do know why we are no longer famous for construction and buildings. It is all thanks to our system of building permits. But it wasn’t always like that. Read more…
Fabricia, from Brazil, was a very lucky register user. She registered her avast! software and, as the 160,000,000th registration, won a trip to Prague. On top of it, she is going to get married soon, so AVAST Software will be a happy sponsor of her honeymoon in Prague. Typical for a Brazilian, Fabricia is sociable and friendly. So after exchanging plenty of messages and calling her (with great help from our Brazilian-Portuguese-speaking AVAST colleague, Marcus), we became friends on Facebook. (Here I should say OBREGADA to a Google Translator . So when I saw Fabricias’ post, I couldn’t resist writing about it! We just sent the tickets we booked for Fabricia and her fiancé last week, which immediately was reflected on Facebook with a photo album “A honeymoon in Prague is confirmed” – with pictures of beautiful Prague! We are very much looking forward to meeting Fabricia and Eder in November. More than just for security, avast! Free Antivirus gives you the chance to win valuable prizes. For more info check our winners section.
Yesterday (1 Sep 2011) we made a Facebook post recognizing avast! antivirus users in particular towns in the USA, towns that because of their names have a special affinity with where avast! originated:
“Since we’re headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic, we’d like to say a big ‘Dobry den’ to avast! users in the following US towns: Prague, Nebraska… Prague, Oklahoma… New Prague, Minnesota… and Praha, Texas.”
These North-American towns all began as Czech communities (or at the time Czech, Moravian, and Slovak communities) in the ‘new world’ about a century ago. Even today, a lot of Czechoslovak festivals are held in these regions and many others (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_American).
Today, however, we want to recognize avast! users in our top 10 COUNTRY markets: Read more…
At AVAST, we not only provide you with free protection, we also reward you for registering it! No, no, we’re not crazy.
You help us immensely by recommending avast! Because of that, we don’t need to advertise, and so we want to reward you even more – e.g., Internet Security licenses, t-shirts, iPods, or a trip to Prague. (see the Winners Section at: http://www.avast.com/community )
And as we informed you several weeks ago, we celebrated our 160,000,000th registration of avast! Free Antivirus. The lucky person who won is Fabricia from Brazil. When she received an email to her native Brazil that she had won an all-inclusive trip to Prague for herself and a friend, she was of course skeptical, as junk mail scams with surprising winner announcements are so common these days. But since she had just registered her avast! Free Antivirus she was curious and asked her brother for his opinion. After a few phone calls and finding the announcement as well on avast.com, she knew it was legitimate.
Best of all, selecting the friend to accompany her was easy, as Fabricia had recently become engaged! So Fabricia’s trip to Prague – from being our 160 millionth user registration – will now also be her honeymoon.
We at AVAST are proud to be a part of it.
According to the Prague International Marathon (PIM) website, “If you like discovering the undiscovered, running alongside a river and meandering through the heart of a medieval capital city, then the Volkswagen Prague Marathon is for you.”
Several AVAST Software team members apparently like those sorts of things enough that they ran 42km in the 2011 Volkswagen Prague Marathon, which began and ended at Prague’s historic Old Town Square on May 8, 2011. Read more…