PZZL.com  
 
Working visit Dutch prime minister
Balkenende at PZZL.com
 
 

On Wednesday December 4 2004, PZZL.com was visited by Dutch prime minister Balkenende and secretary of labor De Geus. Both were on a working visit to Amsterdam Science Park (ASP), and PZZL.com was selected as example of an innovative company making use of its presence at the ASP.

Discussed was how PZZL.com started with making puzzle software to be run on home computers only, and developed into a innovative software company specializing in client-server applications.

One example discussed was brand-new puzzle software, which enables friends to solve the same puzzle together no matter where in the world they are. Letters entered into the grid appear on both screens simultaneously, and the puzzlers can chat and discuss the clues at the same time.

Following are three photos plus captions (copyright PZZL.com).

Left to right: Peter Ritmeester and Ellen Goudsmit (management PZZL.com), prime minister Balkenende and secretary De Geus. One topic discussed was the way PZZL.com puts online the cryptic crossword of the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad. Solutions for the puzzle are sent into a database hosted by PZZL.com. Ritmeester suggested that if Balkenende wants his name into the newspaper, he should send in his solution too, after which PZZL.com would 'help' him win. This was clearly not taken seriously (and rightly so!).

A more serious moment under the supervision of Tux. Tux is the penguin symbolizing Linux, the operating system chosen by more and more companies as an alternative to Windows software. PZZL.com's servers are running on a combination of Linux and Apache, not only because of the lower costs, but also because servers running on Linux/Apache are more stable than Windows servers and because it is wise not to be dependable on one company only (Microsoft).
One of the magazines PZZL.com makes a puzzle for is RaceReport which covers Formula 1. RaceReport was not entirely by coincidence lying on top of the pile of magazines, because the prime minister is known to be a Formula 1 fan.