Tony's first love is pottery
Computer Programming, Web Development and Media
Tony Hansen is the owner of Digitalfire Corporation, the world leader in chemistry and database software used by engineers and technicians and the ceramic manufacturing world, educational institutions and the arts.
Since the first time he saw someone making a piece on the potters wheel, Tony Hansen has been captivated by ceramics. Since 1973 he has worked closely with Plainsman Clays, a miner and manufacturer of clay materials and bodies, where he manages the company lab and studio part time. His intensive formulation, testing and quality control work in this lab has been the primary catalyst for the development of all his ceramic related products. Tony is also an accomplished potter since the early 1970s when he was a personal student of Luke Lindoe and John Porter. He makes many types functional and decorative stoneware, porcelain and earthenware.
How Insight Software Was Born
In 1978 24-year-old Tony Hansen, the plant technician and budding potter at Plainsman Clays, began development of INSIGHT. This was shortly after the introduction of the first personal computers by companies like Altair, Apple and Tandy. The first commercial version of INSIGHT ran on the Tandy Model III and featured separate recipe and formula frames (the term 'window' was not yet conceived). He subsequently ported it to the first commonly available laptop computer, the Tandy Model 100. The IBM PC was introduced in 1982 and INSIGHT was running on it by 1983. Shortly after that he got INSIGHT running on the first Macintosh 128K. Windows and more Macintosh friendly versions followed in the early nineties. Tony Hansen continues to be the prime developer of INSIGHT. He introduced FORESIGHT in 1990 as the first fully relational recipe, ceramic calculation and physical test record keeping system, it is still used by many companies today (some have hundreds of thousands of tests in their databases). INSIGHT has been used around the world since 1980 and is the international standard by which others are measured. Full page ads for INSIGHT first appeared in Ceramics Monthly magazine in the middle 80s. The fist INSIGHT BBS went on-line in 1992 and the first website in 1995 (the year after the HTML internet was born).
Tony Hansen's Ceramic Industry Connections
Tony is well traveled in the ceramic industry and has attended and lectured at many international events. He has authored dozens of technical ceramic articles in magazines around the world, appears in many ceramic text books and has personally exhibited at many international trade shows. He has steadily built a large circle of thousands of key contacts in many organizations and sectors of the ceramic industry around the world and is well positioned to introduce web technologies that will be accepted and adopted.
He is a Dreamer!
Despite many pressures to pursue other much more profitable ventures, Tony Hansen has always stuck to his first love, ceramics. The dream has always been to create computer-based environment that would enable technicians to harness the power of glaze chemistry, maintain their life-time of records and do research; all in one place that he could easily evolve. All the years of work have come together in the culmination of this dream: insight-live.com. His head really is 'in the clouds' in the sense that "cloud server" technology has brought it all together. The decades have required a lot of tenacity to 'hang on' until the ceramic world fully appreciates the value of ceramic chemistry and database-documented test records.