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THWACK Monthly Mission - January 2017

Level 15


Thwacksters, it is important that you remember the journey to the cloud begins with one step.

In this mission you will encounter spiritual cloud guides on your way to the snow-capped peaks where happy little clouds roam. These guides include: Librato, Papertrail, TraceView, and Pingdom.  Use the wisdom and hints they give you each day to answer the questions.

By the end of your journey you will learn that SolarWinds Monitoring Cloud is a suite of SaaS products that helps you solve complex performance and reliability problems with your cloud infrastructure or apps.

We wish you luck as you embark on your journey to the cloud.

Wax on, wax off. Wax on, wax off.


Use the mission’s resources to complete the tasks and answer the questions for a chance to win!

  • Correctly answer each question during the week and you'll be entered to win the weekly prize.
  • Correctly answer all 20 questions over the course of the month and you'll be entered to win the Grand Prize: Oculus Rift + Oculus Touch


A new question will open every day (Monday - Friday) starting on January 9th.

Once a question has opened, it will remain open until February 5th @ 11:59pm.

Check the schedule below for exact open/close times.

Correctly answer all five questions within a given week and you’ll be entered to win the weekly prize:

150 points are being awarded for each correctly answered question. There are 20 questions, which means you can earn a maximum of 3,000 points for this mission.

Weekly PrizesMon
Week 1 - Librato: Remote control Sumo Wrestlers + Automatic sand drawing (zen garden)

Complete questions 1-5 by January 15th to be entered to win

Week 2 - Papertrail: Sphero BB8

Complete questions 6-10 by January 22nd to be entered to win

Week 3 - TraceView: XBOX 1S + Battlefield

Complete questions 11-15 by January 29th to be entered to win

Week 4 - Pingdom: Sonos Play:3

Complete questions 16-20 by February 5th to be entered to win

Correctly answer all 20 questions by February 5th and get entered to win the Grand Prize!
Oculus Rift + Oculus Touch!

Official Terms & Conditions: US, UK, & Canada | Germany

Level 12

I just watched an episode of Scorpion (I'm a little behind but have them all recorded) where they had drones working in a pack.  The main difference was that taking out the lead drone also took out the rest unlike the "swarm" in your video link. 

Level 12

Wow.  That's right out of clone/drone Science Fiction.  The sound is scary--hundreds of bird-sized mosquitos, and I bet their bite is worse than any organic insect.


We use drones in the fire service these days...they are great for grass fires and other large incidents.

In addition to info for command they become great training aids....

Level 11

Can spot hotspots with IR too! I imagine that a few drones will be deployed to controlled burns and help monitor the end of the burn to ensure no more flare-ups.

Level 12

Noooo!   I need that BB8 for my daughter!

C'mon Solarwind - put us back in the game!

Level 11

Hi wabbott

Is there an issue with week1 Q4 just answered and pretty sure I got it right but came up as wrong




There is a new flir camera that works with DJI inspire and some of the larger drones...

The imagery is crazy...blows the doors off the flir on the police helicopters.

Runs about $7000.  You can see the hotspots inside a building at night....

For search and rescue, you can set it to show only a certain range of temperatures....say 90-105 degrees.

Unless the ambient temp is in that range, human and animal bodies "stand out". 

Level 9

Good luck everyone!

Level 15

Sent you a PM

Jfrazier​ - thanks for sharing totally geeking out and wish I had $10K to spend on the whole system myself.


Not a problem,  I enjoy being able to share my other life when I can.

There are points in time when the geek factor spans both worlds...The fire service is a bit higher tech than some people realize.

UAVs (Drones) are really helping us on grass fires and even structure fires at night when command can't see the entire thing.

Level 7

Pretty sure the same happened to me - unless there is multiple answeres and I didn't notice the "all of the above" as an option.

Love today's question (5) no idea what it means, but I got it right.


Yeahhhh Week 1 All Green - nice.

But it brings about a question - Just how many entities does Solarwinds own. There's the Orion platform and all of it's parts and pieces then there's all these additional sites that we are being directed to for other packages. It would be nice to see a line card (with a bit of a description) of all that is part of the Solarwinds "family."

Level 11

Yeah, I too had a moment of, "wow, I know all of those words! I wonder what they mean when arranged in that particular order ..."


Wow you think the Zen Sand Garden drawing thing is neat check this out:  Four Cable Drawing Machine - YouTube

Dang this is some neat stuff!  Joe Freedman's Amazing Cycloid Drawing Machine - YouTube

I checked those things sell for 695$ o.O!  Cycloid Drawing Machine | leafpdx

Level 13

PLEASE let me win something this month - 5 GREAT PRIZES!!!!!

My thoughts exactly I would love an Oculus via thwack, though!


the sound at the end of the video was scary, all those little drones buzzing round and round.

Imagine that when they're all armed - gulp

Level 11

Congratulations to our lucky week 1 winner tinambolton​ who will be taking home a Remote control Sumo Wrestlers + Automatic sand drawing (zen garden)​!!

Well done tinambolton

Imagine being anyone or anything targeted by those drones.  Maybe they'd be sent to become sucked into an airplane's jet engines.  Maybe they'd be sent to impact a person or a group of people, perhaps with tiny explosives, or simply with high speed.

In either of those cases, the action could be defensive--as in the action being done to protect a person, state, or nation.  Or the action could be hostile and aggressive--a different kind of first strike capability.

I'd like to think of them used beneficially, but we all have seen what folks without ethics, or folks with negative agenda's, or governments, do with new technology.  Look at Alfred Nobel's experiences.  He was a pacifist, yet he saw need for ways in which people could more safely handle and control gun powder, which lead to his inventing dynamite and his invention of detonators and the blasting cap and gelignite.  He became very wealthy through investing in his brothers' oilfield exploitation and building more than 90 armament factories, his main pastime seemed the search of knowledge and the creation of new and beneficial inventions, as is shown by his 355 patents.  When one of his brothers died, and a French obituary mistakenly published an obituary for Alfred, he read that the world would remember him as "the merchant of death," due to the explosives built with his inventions .  This wasn't the legacy he wished, and he secretly wrote his will to leave most of his wealth to a trust that would provide awards for achievements in the sciences and in achieving peace, which we know today as the Nobel Prizes.  It makes him seem like someone who regretted his role in the many deaths caused with explosives, even though the military's use of his inventions was not his doing.  Alfred Nobel - Wikipedia

The folks inventing/designing/building drone technology are responsible for their actions, even as Nobel was for his inventions.  How drone designers and builders will be remembered, and how they may try to atone for the negative things done with their inventions, remains for the future to see.

Level 11

Horrible people will always do horrible things, regardless of the tools they have at their disposal. Take away criminals' guns and they use knives. Take away knives and they'll make and use shivs. Stopping progress because of ways that those inventions MIGHT be used is extremely counterproductive. Sure dynamite and TNT might have been used to kill people on occasion, but how many more were saved because of the coal and various ores that they have been used to mine? Cheaper buildings and heat definitely saved countless lives in the past century or two, which I believe can be directly attributed to these dangerous explosives.

(And by the way, dynamite doesn't contain gunpowder. It's nitroglycerine mixed with a stabilizer. This makes the nitroglycerine stable, as even a small shock can cause an explosion otherwise. It is, however, generally safer to handle than gunpowder.)

Congrats to tinambolton

Level 17

I want the Oculus!


Part of the original problem with dynamite was the nitroglycerin would essentially "leak" out since it wasn't bound to anything.  Part of the merchant of death was the result of explosions and deaths at his plants.  Later he was able to figure out a way to keep it bound and more stable. 

What many people don't realize is that black powder (the original gunpowder) was an explosive.  Modern smokeless ( well less smoky in some cases) gunpowder is a propellent and not an explosive by nature.  It requires pressure to build the volume of gas used to propel projectiles.  Now in some cases it can detonate if there is not enough powder to fill the case to a minimum level.

Level 11

Not even 6 months into solarwinds there you go tinambolton​ won an amazing prize.. Congrats Madam

So new thwackers dont loose heart. Solarwind team is very generous and true so even you can win anything here..

Level 9

Stay strong!

I started doing the missions a little over a year ago and still no joy.  Lots of thwackers out there. . . You can at least use the points to buy nifty stuff from the store.

Level 9

Reading the comments for additional hints about debatable/troublesome questions also helps some. And I still miss a few 😞

Level 8

Thanks everyone, how exciting!!! I never thought I would win anything, this is very cool!

Level 11 a very few countries

Level 16

Thanks, I didn't even think of looking at Wikipedia. That's a lot of "stuff"

I remember the episode of Shark Tank with the (I think) inventor of Solarwinds - apparently he/they are very ambitious.

Level 11

welcome to the club mate. I was also like that but now i moved to another country having it 😞

Its not that easy to setup delivery to a country believe me that too with these many gifts and items, you need a dealer, logistics etc etc

Level 11

UPS/Fedex can do that, no ?

Level 15

Congrats tinambolton​! 

Level 9

Congrats tinambolton

Also, just noticed the URL for this mission still says January 2016


Level 11

again you do not understand. They cant ship each and every product back from US or UK to other countries (they will end up in too much into delivery).

When i meant logistics it includes warehouse locally where they can ship inside the country. People to monitor track, and deliver the goods right from order to delivery (purchase, stock management etc).

So its not that easy as it sounds. Fingers crossed they will get into every other country soon (due to its popularity).

Level 12

Hello all for today's answer check out this site: Sign up - Papertrail

Thanks for the hint.  

Level 12

Just send the foreign winner an Amazon gift certificate to their email. Have done it, easy as pie.

Level 10

Totally agree with you smoked_angus . It's back to whether want to do it or not. Can have a million reason why you cant, or one (or several) way to do it.

It is not only a matter of product delivery. Each country has different laws concerning came of skill and chance. So if your legal team is very conservative you don't offer prizes in countries they have vetted yet.

Shipping is the easiest thing.


Thomas A. Iannelli

Information Services Manager

Stanley Consultants, Inc.

Level 7

I love this community!!     

Level 11

well said my friend.. another real true reason too.

Level 11

If they deliver to Germany they can deliver to most of countries in Europe, the importating laws are pretty the same. I'm agree with you for Russia, Brazil ; but for France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, etc... it's not the problem. 

(imm an, your "reason" is a non sense, you want them to have a warehouse in each country ? It's a very restrictive vision of goods exchange. When i send a postal card I don't brought it myself to my friend's postal box)

Level 12

Is there supposed to be a button or link to a poll on today's question? I don't see anything.


edit: I saw this back on the main page though, is this the right URL?


Yup, push the View Poll button and it takes you to the link you added. Eazy Pezy.

Level 12

Wow, I am not a clever man, haha!

You can tell who hadn't had their coffee yet this morning. This guy.. that's who.

I'm working on the caffeine/nicotine level for the morning. Once those reach peak levels I'll be good to go.