Protecting over 200 million PCs, Macs, & Mobiles – more than any other antivirus

October 18th, 2011

Back to the Future?

I bet most of you have seen the ‘80s Back to the Future trilogy.  Back then it had great special effects, hi-tech equipment, impressive cars and tricks, but there was also a great theme in which the main hero goes back to the past…

You might be wondering how does it relate to avast! antivirus? Well all of us have a bit of nostalgia for the past, a time when we didn’t use PCs and there were no viruses. :)

So, the other day I asked my colleagues in our marketing/PR department: do you remember your first PC or the first virus you caught?

I was surprised what kind of discussion it has opened and how excited everyone was about it. So here we go (in alphabetical order):

Jason – Copywriter

First pseudo-computer I owned was Atari 2600 (circa 1984-5).

First real computer I ever used (at school): Commodore 64 (circa 1986-7) with a cassette-tape drive.

First real computer I actually owned was an HP desktop I bought in 1997 (with Windows 95 and McAfee antivirus (avast! engine!!)). I had it until 2002, when I upgraded to a Gateway desktop with Windows XP, which I think came with Symantec/Norton(?)… which I did not renew, instead using free antivirus software (ZoneAlarm, AVG, avast!) from then on.

Milos – Marketing Director

I was a poor kid from a poor village.  No computers.  Just socialism.  Left and right… everywhere you looked. Firsthand experience was the computer lab at school when I lived for a while in Modesto, California, in 1992/1993.   PC,  Macs and – listen carefully – Amiga.

I hated Mac because the only way to get the floppy disk out was through the software-eject button.  So when it crashed – and it was crashing all the time – your disk was in there and impossible to get out.

The PC on the other hand was excellent.  Crashed equally as often as the Mac, but there was a miracle hardware button, and when you pushed it the disk was out!  Lovely.

And of course the Amiga… I learned how to animate and draw on it.  It was THE computer for graphics!

Mirek  – Brand Manager

My first …  or rather let’s say my father’s but I could play with it.. was the Sinclair ZX spectrum  - 1985.

And then the Nintendo console.. and then the real PC.

Vladimir – Traffic Manager

IQ of 151

The computer was multifunctional. This machine not only performed as a PC, but could also boil water for coffee or tea, or could serve as a heating element.

At home I used a Czeck clone of the ZX spectrum: Didaktik Gama – however, you couldn’t boil water for tea with it.

(Me)  Julia – Community Manager :)

We had an Atari XE without any OS, so whenever we wanted to start it up, we had to insert a floppy and after a long struggle accompanied with strange sounds trrr, trrr,

trrrr, bip, bip, bip, it ended up with the message: “Disk error”.

The best story came from Zuzka – Collateral Manager.

I caught my first virus during my, first year working for AVAST. I was very curious what was in an attached document in an interesting email from Peru. ;-) . When I opened the document, my computer crashed.

I got big laughs from both Eda and Pavel (the founders of AVAST Software) and then Pavel brought an avast! BART CD (now called avast! Rescue Disc) and rescued my computer. :)


What about you? What was your first PC or first virus you caught? Tell us your story, and we look forward to reading your comments! :D

  • RejZoR

    My first computer was Commodore 64 II (or so it said on the box, i couldn’t find the same thing anywhere but it looked very similar to that Amiga above). And this was back in 1998 when everyone had Pentium CPU’s already. A friend gave it to me because he didn’t need it anymore and it had few problems with the screen (Hercules graphics hehe). I sort of fixed the screen and so i could play games on it and use it for school. Sopwith, Tetris, Alley Cat, Sokoban, the good old classics. When most of others were already using MS Word and inkjet printers i was still using Wordstar and hammering the dot matrix printer that would wake up entire town if i decided to use it early in the morning or late in the evening. Didn’t really know what viruses are back then as i was using so obsolete system nothing could actualyl infect it hehe. Later i bought myself a Intel Celeron 333MHz based system and at that point i came across my first antivirus, a full version of Trend Micro Pccillin 98 that arrived with the motherboard CD. After that i got great interest into security software and malware in general.

    In all the years i never really had infected system. Only one time where i mistakenly executed Polipos during testing. That was entirely my fault. But other than that, no problems really.

  • Goghz

    My First own Computer are Celeron. I was forgot how speed clock of it , i just remember it’s last of celeron version and last product.
    but, with 50GB HD. and i use windows XP. I always try new programs and finding software.
    but, i don’t know why. My Avast caught it. it’s good. I can’t imagine if avast NOT detect it, probably my documents, and others, will gone or corrupt.
    thanks avast, keep it up for your good work. FREE version ,i really likes it.

  • chocholo

    The very first computer I have photo with was some Sharp machine.
    The first computer I remember is Commodore PC 20-III, processor running at 4,77Mhz, giant 20MB hard drive, 5,25inch floppy drive and 640kB of memory (should be enough for everyone:)
    I used it till 2001, then I’ve got Celeron 900Mhz, years after I bought some Pentium 4 and then I started to work for avast.

  • spg SCOTT

    My first pc was a windows 3.1 machine given to us by a relative who had just bought a new pc with the next version of windows (95 IIRC)
    (Just for perspective, I am a little younger than most here…in fact, avast! is older than me :P)

    The one thing that I can remember about that machine, was the only thing I think I did with it. That was to play a game. I can still remember starting it up, and typing in the path to and playing Stellar 7 (

    Other than that, the one thing I can remember with the computers that I had was I was obsessively curious of what EVERY setting button did. I am pretty sure I changed every setting there was. Just to see what happened.

    Once I discovered what the modifier keys/keyboard shortcuts, I basically tried Ctrl and every button, then shift…etc…

    My first virus?

    IIRC it was a while after I had discovered avast, and my pc was infected with an undetected spambot that used my pc as a base for all those spam emails that you get…
    The only thing that alerted me to it was avast’s mail shield that told me about too many emails that are the same in too little time (spam basically)

    That brought me to the avast forum and I am here today.

    So I am the proof that when people say that they don’t need the mail shield because they use webmail or whatever, they may not be completely right.
    (always nice to validate a forum/blog post with personal experience :))

    wow…long post…


  • bob3160

    I seem to recall the ZX with those funny soft keys but that goes back a long long way. The Commodore Vic 20 was the first new computer I ever owned and boy oh boy that opened up the world of computers for me. It was amazing how much 3k of ram was able to do. Let’s not forget the sound chip that all Commodore computers had built in. It certainly made game playing enjoyable and the music wasn’t bad either. I remember combining my Vic 20 with a friends and synchronizing them to play the left and right side of piece of music so that we could listen to it in “stereo”.
    Now I use a laptop with an i5 processor that dual boots Windows 7 and Windows 8.
    I have to admit widows 8 is much faster and would be using it more once I can protect it with avast! (I know it’s coming soon. )

  • philipsinbox

    Sinclair ZX80 Computer and then an Amstrad CPC 64 with a game cartridge for cheating games. The big game then was called dizzy “treasure Island dizzy” by the Oliver twins. And then an Amiga 500 with a game cartridge for cheating called “action replay.” I had no money and my dad was poor he was a seaman and my mother a nurse. I started programming in assembly language because I wanted to be like the Oliver Twins. Instead I become a nurse and become poor.

    “You must be registered to post” I’m registered with so many people. I cannot even purchase a product without thinking up a password because I must be registered even though I only want to buy one product and will probably never return. And definitely will not remember the thousand and one passwords I have to remember. I bought a stolen BBC Micro when I was very young somebody knocked at the door with it and said you want to buy this I give them everything I had it was a lovely computer it become my best friend through my teenage years.

  • Yanto Chiang


    Honestly, in my childhood i never have any PC or nintendo (during the years 1996) at my middle school.
    But at the time my school have a PC studies, which is at the time we were only learn how to us DOS (with the black tape and big one) also Lotus Note 123, Wordstar, Basic Application.

    After that i went to Computer Sciences University which is required have a PC at my home and i buy one PC (not branded, but my cousin help me to assembled by myself) with AMD Athlon processor with 1 GB SDRAM. At the time Kaspersky is quite good and most of free AV not as good as Kaspersky (That time i only knew Symantec Norton, AVG, and McAfee).

    But recently for each notebook or my friend notebook/PC, i always recommended them to using AVAST Antivirus since i had convenience with AVAST rather others AV engines.

    That is my short experiences with PC or Notebook in whole my lifes….