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…
Known as “CharleyO” on the avast! Forum, Charles O. Prince is one of the 15 most-active avast! Forum members, with more than 6,500 posts since he joined in early 2004. Like his fellow forum members Bob Gostischa (“bob3160”) and Lisandro Souza (“Tech”), as well as many others, Charley helps avast! users around the world with their technical questions. In lieu of my traditional “5 Questions with [person]” interview format, I decided to let Charley paint for us a bigger picture as to how he came to be such an avid supporter of avast! over the years – followed by only 3 questions this time. I think you’ll find his personal IT history fascinating. – Jason Mashak
To follow up on the previous post on videos, I forgot to mention one important thing: we never planned to produce ‘silent movies’. This means we were looking for somebody who could help us to record the voices.
Luckily, we didn’t have to search long. Some time back, we introduced the new Community section on our website where you could play and download theme voice notifications. “AVAST virus database has been updated” and all the other ones. A couple of the themed voice versions (for example the “ex-president”) were recorded by our voice actor Luis Acevedo.
Here is his show reel. Play sample
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…
We are happy to announce that our Facebook fan page for avast! antivirus has reached a whopping 300,000 fans!
The second half of 2011 got off to a great start for AVAST Software (even if it was rough in terms of Prague’s “summer” weather, which been more like an out-of-place autumn). We began the third quarter with a record 165 million user registrations and (not long after launching our avast! Free Antivirus for Mac beta) in July we launched our new business security line. As for what’s next, CNET’s Seth Rosenblatt give a preview of our other upcoming security solutions here.
In other news, research by the AVAST Virus Lab uncovered an alarming trend in Adobe Reader version usage and a surprising percentage of Microsoft XP-based rootkits. Read more…
This week we released program update version 6.0.1203 for avast! antivirus. Among several great improvements, two new languages were added:
This means that avast! antivirus is now available in 38 official languages, listed here in alphabetical order:
- Chinese (Simplified)
- Chinese (Traditional)
- Estonian Read more…
From the time I started at AVAST Software, I began hearing the name “Bob” a lot, but never saw the guy, and his handle on the avast! Forum – “bob3160″ – sounded to me like some new industry buzz word, a new kind of machine that would change the way we all live. When I finally asked someone about “Bob,” I was shocked. “He’s one of our biggest fans on the user forum, and he helps us with a lot of stuff in the US.” Bob ranks third on the avast! Forum in terms of post count, with over 15,000 as of this writing (about 4,000 posts ahead of our CTO, Ondrej Vlcek). I began to laugh that the ‘avast! secret weapon’ might be a retiree in the southwestern desert of the USA.
Early in 2011, Bob and some other avast! Forum “Evangelists” came to visit us in Prague, and I think we were all affected in some way by his positive demeanor, charismatic personality, warm heart, and sincerity. It made me think that, yes, it’s “bob3160″ and others like him who are indeed the avast! secret weapons. It was an honor to interview Bob, and we hope he returns soon to visit us in Prague. – Jason Mashak
1. How long have you been using avast! antivirus solutions and how influential would you say avast! Forum members have been in their development?
I first discovered avast! in 2003 while looking for a replacement for Norton, which at that time was using my computer more than I was.
After testing quite a few alternatives, I finally settled on avast! since the protection it offered was excellent and it wasn’t a system hog like the others.
It actually allowed me to gain access to my computer again, something I really had not enjoyed for some time.
2. In terms of innovative practices, can you think of any other product or service that has such a feeling of ‘community’ and user-co-development as that fostered by AVAST?
I honestly can’t – and I do belong to several other forums, even though my involvement with the other forums I frequent isn’t the same as it is with the Avast forum. I consider the Avast Forum my home away from home. Read more…
avast! WebRep combines antivirus software with website ratings from millions of users in the global avast! community – providing users of avast! 6.0 with a community-sourced guide to the safety and/or content of websites. avast! users can thus know – before clicking a link – what to expect in terms of product or service quality, customer service levels, or website safety and reliability. Ratings results are “traffic-light” simple: green = GO… orange = CAUTION… red = STOP!
But we’ve talked about that before. This time, let’s take a look at the website categories… Read more…
Not long after I started at AVAST, I started hearing about Martin as “the guy” capable of handling almost anything language or support related. We connected quickly, I think, because of similar backgrounds (in music and education) and responsibilities (kids and work). Whenever possible, I try to join him for vegetarian lunches a few minutes from our office, and I’m hoping we’ll soon make it into a recording studio to get some of his tasty (jazzy) Fender Rhodes keyboard riffs added to a couple of my songs-in-progress. –Jason Mashak
1. How does the ability to communicate in roughly half a dozen tongues shape your ‘official’ job function at AVAST?
The fact that I can communicate in several languages means that I can easily fill the ‘holes’ wherever needed. So when someone takes a holiday, I can easily jump in and take over the work in his or her (native) language. I’m not only doing tech support, but also sales and, if really necessary, I can do some work for other departments, like editing datasheets in other languages or dealing with unique customer issues. And of course, a big part of my work consists of translating (mostly technical) documents (where my background as a former physics teacher of course helps a lot concerning the technical aspect). So actually, I’m officially in tech support, but much of the time doing other things.
2. In terms of tech support, what are some of the strangest inquiries that you’ve encountered? Read more…