OK, Fine, Fine, I'll do it...

Date November 14, 2011

I've been putting this post off for a long time...and not because I didn't know what I wanted to write...I do. I just....don't want to.

In fact, maybe you should just stop reading right now. The rest of the entry is really boring. Go on. Scroll to the next RSS feed - These aren't the droids you're looking for. 

Still here? I was afraid of that.

Just for the record, it's only out of the goodness of my heart that I'm doing this...

Red Gate (the company that published my Simple Talk Sysadmin writings) is doing something a little bit...out there.

Red Gate wants to send a DBA to space. Seriously.

Yes, it's a corporate promotion, and obviously they want you to think well of them (and use their products), and it's a tactic to accomplish that, but lets move beyond that. They are really going to send a DBA to space. For real. I just got off the phone with someone over there. They've already paid for the reservation, which is a significant chunk of the "substantial" price tag attached (to give you a ballpark number, Virgin Galactic charges $200k for an equivalent ticket). They're completely serious about this.

Here's the deal: You have to take a quiz, and you have to ostensibly be a DBA...which I take to mean Database Administrator. And I don't know about you, but I've administered quite a few databases. OK, maybe not well, but I've done it.

The eligibility requirements are here:

Anyone can take part in the video quiz, but because of legal restrictions the following criteria apply to all applicants for the prize of a trip into space:

You must be over 18 years of age (19 in Canada).
Only residents of the USA*, UK*, Canada*, Australia, or Germany can win the prize.
*Excluding: Tennessee, Wyoming, Northern Ireland, and Quebec.
Chinese, Iranian, North Korean, or Sudanese nationals are not eligible to win the prize.
You must have administrated databases as part of your current or most recent job; your job title, however, does not affect your eligibility.
Entrants don’t need any particular skills or training. The winner will receive training and preparation for their spaceflight as part of the package, possibly including a ZERO-G flight and a centrifuge run.

The winner should also be in good health; a physician’s exam and medical waiver will be required before the flight.

So what's the catch?

Well, the first thing is that even if you win, you're not leaving anytime soon. The space flight is a suborbital flight aboard a Space Adventures craft, probably designed by Armadillo Aerospace. The final design isn't done, and I'm not sure when it will be, or when it will begin tests.

Also, and this is probably a smaller matter, but according to the About page, you don't need to purchase RedGate software to win (which I'm pretty sure would be illegal), but you do have to use trial portions, apparently. If that's odius to you, then you probably shouldn't take part.

All in all, it's very cool. You get to go into space (which means 100km up) and be weightless for a while. You'll get to see the curvature of the earth and the inky blackness of space, and you'll instantly have way cooler stories than anyone I know, and I'll probably ask for your autograph. If you can deal with that, then I suggest you forget all about this silly contest and move along so that I have a better chance of winning.

Disclaimer: I was asked to mention this to you, but I was considering it before I was asked. I have received nothing (nor will I) from anyone for mentioning it, and will, in all likelihood, only lower my own chances of winning by doing so (because yes, I am going to try to win, too).

  • Anthony

    Um.. Completely off topic really - but why (*19 in Canada) ??? As far as I'm aware there are no laws in Canada that would prohibit someone over 18 from doing this. Most 'contests' like this in Canada are restricted to 18 and over. Unless they have to be legally allowed to drink? And even that is provincial and not a requirement outside of the particular province.


  • http://www.rootmytoaster.org Kenny

    Looks like I'm gonna have to list DBA as one of the things I do for rootmytoaster.org !

  • Devin

    Why the discrimination of Chinese? Because I am definitely Chinese.