Insight-Live Detailed Overview

A video tour of all the major features of the Digitalfire online recipe, material, test and picture manager.

A. Insight-live

Click here to watch this at or click here to go to our Youtube channel

This is an outline transcript of the video. This video is available in various formats at test

Lets tour Insight-live by doing something practical.
I found a base glaze recipe and I want to try it and document what happens (copy it)

Login (have account because I went to store)
Make new recipe
Paste it, interpret it
Link for firing schedule (set start time, print)

1. Log in to INSIGHT
Welcome to the home page of Insight-Live
It is an OnLine Ceramic Information Management system from Digitalfire Corporation.
-Normally you login on this page here, or, you click here and put in your email address to create a new account.
However, if we have created an account for you and emailed you a link then you will bypass this page.
-If you have a digitalfire user name and password you can also use them here.
Because if Insight-Live does not find an account it checks at and transfers the status.
For example, if you have a non-expired Insight Level 2 or a site license,
you will automatically have individual or group access here.
-So I am going to click Login. So n0w we are in.

2. 00:58 First Login, messaging, store and account pages, access levels, support tickets, preferences
(prepare: flashing icons using killhistory=1, close messages manager)
-I have nothing open right now so the content area of the main part of the page displays an introduction to the features of Insight-live.
(it can also display other things depending on what I am doing)
-Across the top I have the general tool bar, and that will almost always be visible
-Down the left are the various managers
-For example, the recipe manager is open by default.
I have no recipes, so you might be wondering why there is a search.
But we will find out about that in a minute.
The recipe manager has its own toolbar.
The icons I see in the toolbars depend on my level of access or what I am doing.
For example, export requires at least premium membership status, but I do not have that
-Lets check, I am going to click the STORE icon here: and this is where I see what my status is
It says I am a basic member.
Below that I can see a chart that shows the differences between the levels and at the
bottom of that chart I can purchase a higher level of membership if I want to
I am going to go back home, and notice the flashing icons here, they are trying to get my attention because I am new.
And down here in the messages section the blinking red light is telling me that there is a message that I have not read
Now I can see messages from, and to me, on this list. And I can see who who SENT each
When all components of a thread have been read (either by me or my recipient) the title is going to be shown in italics
It is not italic here so it means that I have not read it yet
Of course to read it I just need to click on it and there will be a respond button there
I can COMPOSE a message using the button at the top here (and I can sent that to another insight-live user).
I will click on that. But notice it says you must be logged in as a group member to compose messages.
Unfortunately I am not a group member.
Now the messaging system is internal, it does not depend on THE email system, although a notification is sent when I send a message to someone else
So I will close this.

2a. 03:22 Now this icon shows my ACCOUNT page: Here I can edit my information and reset my passwords.
I will go back home.
This icon is my Support tickets: Normally these are going to be between me and Insight-Live technical support
But I can invite other people to see and to be able to contribute to a conversation.
Let's go back home to Insight-live.

2b. 03:55 This icon is my PERSONAL PREFERENCES where I can control certain aspects of the way the site operates
Now notice along the top of the screen here as I move my mouse pointer to each of these icons a little help tip pops up showing me its function
Now of course that is not going to work if you are using an iPhone or an iPad or some touch screen device

3. 04:30 Also, let's take a look at these FLASHING icons, they are begging my attention (they are only going to flash the first couple of times I login)
-This one is the VIDEO TUTORIALS
So if you come to this site and you do not know anything about how to use it, obviously this is the first place you are going to want to go.
And the videos are available in different formats, the highest quality one will work on any desktop computer that has flash installed
If not, then try one of the other two.
So I will close that.
And now this other flashing icon over here is the HELP SYSTEM.
I will just to home in help... and pretty well everything that I need to know is in here.
I just have to do a little looking. I am going to look at General Information and then click on Privacy to see what this says.
This explains that there is no Flash technology, the is no javascript frameworks, there is no Ajax, there is no underlying content management system..
There is not even any cookies in Insight-Live, infact there is no outside code - and we have done this for security, reliability and compatibility reasons.
Let's go back a couple of steps and I will show you something else in the Help here, on the recipe management page
This of course deals with the Recipe Manager, which is over here
Let's click on REFERENCE RECIPES: Now this is a page where I can find batches of public reference recipes that I can search
Although it appears I have no recipes over here, actually I do. And these batches are negative numbered.
And they count down from zero whereas the batches that you will be importing count upwards from zero.
So let's close this and let's try to search that database. So that was -1.

3b 06:37 So I am going to click Advanced Search here, and then I'll enter a batch here of -1, and I'll click Search.
And here we have some recipes.
It says there are zero of my own recipes, 758 in this batch, so I'll click on the first one
And now I am previewing this recipe.
Now in preferences, I could tell Insight-live to open a recipe when I click on it
But by default it previews the recipe (and there are some advantages of that which we will see in a minute)
Notice up here it says that the recipe is READ-ONLY, because of course it is a reference recipe
Now I'll click to open it.
Notice I can't edit it here, but I can REPORT it, so I'll click on report (this I could obviously print on my printer)
Notice that the report has created a new tab, so I am just going to close that tab and that will take me back to Insight-live.
Now if I go down here and I click on some other recipes (I am just going to zoom out a little bit)
You can see that those recipes show beside my original recipe that is open
Each of those is being previewed, and you will find that this is very handy.

3c 08:07 OK, now, ... notice up at the top here, when ever I open a recipe it gets ADDED TO this HISTORY list, and so I have quick access to these
I can clear the list or I can turn it off in my preferences
And there actually is a dedicated history link over here, it is going to show right here, and I can clear that as well
And that is going to disappear next time I do anything else. For example, if I search it is gone.
So now let's close this and I will show you one other item in the help system of Insight-live, and that is down at the bottom here.
My Reference. Now this is actually the Digitalfire Reference Library.
If I click on Ceramic Oxides it has taken us to the digitalfire site, logged us in and here we have all this technical information about oxides, minerals,
materials, recipes, troubleshooting, anything you could want.
So you have direct access to the Digitalfire Reference Library from within Insight-live if you have at least a premium membership
which you will have automatically if you have desktop Insight Level 2 or a site license.
So let's close this an go back to Insight-live.

4. 09.30 Viewing, comparing recipes, advanced search
Now I have closed the Reference Database, so let's take a closer look at one of these recipes
Down here I have clicked on this one, and we are previewing it over here. Notice it's showing me...Let's go in a little closer.
It is showing me the name of the recipe, the description, the code number which is unassigned and I can see the materials in the recipe
The additions, here I can see the total of the recipe and the additions separately
And I can also put in a total and print a batch ticket right from this preview
The recipe has a URL assigned (more than one can be assigned)
It has a typecode, notice this one is undefined (we will learn more about that later)
And I have notes, and at the bottom I have private notes
In addition, if I open this recipe, there are other things that are in an opened recipe that you cannot see in a previewed one
Here is one here: I will click the show the XML.
This XML that you see in this box here is a representation of all the data in the recipe
It can be copied, pasted into another recipe and imported.
On the bottom is a text representation showing just the name of the recipe, the description and the materials and additions that it contains
So, anyway, let's close this.

10:59 And I am going to search for 'ash glazes'
Notice it defaults to searching in the name
I can also search in the materials, notes and picture base
I can also set the order in which they will be shown and I can search for a specific type
Now I want to leave this at -1 because I am searching for the first batch of reference recipes.
So I will click Search, and here we have Ash Glazes. Let's click on this one.
And then I will open it.
And there is another one right below it that has the same name, let's open that beside it.
And I will just zoom out a little bit so we can see them both.
Now this is a good way to compare one recipe with another.
This is one of the advantages of being able to preview a recipe rather than just opening it.
Because I can click on any of these others and they are going to show in that same place.
All of them being compared with that original.

12:03 Notice the columnar format in which Insight-Live sets up the screen
This is being done so the site is more workable on small devices like cell phones and tablets
Typically on those, you double-tap in one of these boxes and that box is going to zoom to fill the width of the screen
And then you double tap again and it zooms back out.
OK, lets close all of these, I am going to click the Close All button or icon over here
And let's do a little bit more advanced search.
But first, let's go to that search again. Notice that the second one here had Cedar Heights Redart.
So let's search for that: Redart
And I am going to click Materials and look for all the glazes that have, as one of their ingredients, Redart.
Here we are. So we have five groups, there are lots of them. There we are: Redart. Redart.
OK, so now I will close all the recipes again.

5. Entering a recipe
13:11 Now I am going to click Normal Search. Watch what happens.
All the recipes I found before are gone.
If I click Advanced Search again, notice that Normal Search removed the batch number and set the target of where I am searching back to Name.
OK, so I will close this.
Now we are going to enter a recipe.
To do that I will click Add. And the recipe auto-opens. I'll hide the XML.
And I will click Edit. I am going to add 5 lines. I will click Save.
Now I can enter 5 materials here, so lets put in some Frit 3134, say 50; Silica, 30; and kaolin, 20;
Now I have a couple of extra lines so I am going to click the Delete Checkbox in these (I don't need them)
And then I am going to click Save.
So now you'll notice that those lines and gone and now we have these three.
Now I should also set the batch size, let's save at 2000. I'll click Save.
And now let's click the Report. Now I forgot to put in the recipe title. So let's close this tab; click Edit again.
I we will call this Transparent Cone 6. There we have it.
Now if I wanted to delete this recipe I just go like so (I'll zoom in a little so we can see better). I have a choice, I'll click No.

6. Units of measure
15:26 Notice to the right of the recipe.
Normally there should be percentages printed there, but they are not here and that is because the recipe totals 100.
Let's just try something here..I'll change this to 51 and Save.
Now they are here. Now I will show you something else.
Let's change this back to 50. And then I'll put in grams for the units and Save.
Now notice that we have an asterisk to refer us down here, we have an invalid unit.
So how do I fix that?
Well, we go over here to My Units and I'll Add and unit, and I'll call it gm, and then Grams, and a conversion factor of how many of the base units are in this.
The base unit is kilograms, so it there are .001 kilograms in a gram.
Now I'll save that. Now it still says it's invalid, and that's because I need to reference the abbreviation in the recipe, not the name of the unit
So let's edit the recipe and I'll just change this to gm, Save, now it is working.
But we still have a problem. There are missing units in here.
If I have one unit in a recipe, I need to have all units. So I'll Edit and put grams here, grams here, and Save.
Now it looks good, but we still have another problem.
The total of the recipe is .1 kilograms, and that's no good.
So I need to change the base unit, and so, how do we do that.

17:17 Well before I do that, let's try something else.
I am going to click all three of these, and then I'll click confirm, and then I'll click Delete
I'm killing all three. Notice what's happened. Insight-live has restored the two default units.
So they cannot be deleted. So, I'll add a new unit again. We'll put the grams back in.
And I'll make that that default unit by setting it at 1.
Now I'll click Save. Now we have a complaint here: I can't have more than one unity unit.
So I have another one that has a conversion of 1, I need to fix that.
So lets edit the kilograms and pounds..
Now how many grams are there in a kilogram? 1000. How many grams are there in a pound? 453.6. I'll Save.
Now it's working! Very nice.
Now notice something else down here in the untis: If I want to change all the units in all the lines of my recipes I can do that.
For example, I have gm as the units. If I wanted to change them all from gm to grams, I could do that, just by clicking Change All here.
But I don't want to do that. So I'll hide this section.

7. Project, Typecodes
18:56 Notice the tutorial videos and help icons are no longer blinking.
And that's because I logged out and then logged in, actually I logged out twice and logged in (they show the first two times).
Also, notice down here it says "No recipes found", now why is that, I just entered one, it is right here!
The reason is because I have the word "redart" in the Search blank.
I'll take it out and click search, now here is the recipe.
Now, I want to classify this recipe. Any recipe can belong to many classifications, many categories, so a folder analogy is obviously no good.
I need to be able to set up categories. That is done right here in Typecodes.
I'll open that and add a Typecode.
And I'll use an abbreviation of TRN and I'll type "Transparents" and save it.
So now I can go and edit the recipe and go down to Typecodes here, and type in TRN.
Now I can enter many codes, and can just put a space and put another, another ... But one will do for now.
I'll click Save. Now there we have it, TRN Transparents.
Now you might wonder why we have handled it this way, why don't you just pick it from a list.
And the reason is to provide maximum flexibility in importing and exporting.
For example, I'll demonstrate. Let's go over here, I am going to remove this typecode.
If we look back at the recipe it is still there. Insight live just doesn't know what the name of it is.
So I'll put it back in again. I'll click Add... Save.
Now in the future when I want to be able to find all the transparents, I'll just go to Advanced search, choose Transparents and click Search.
Of course, I could also supply a word in the blank to refine the Search.

7b 21:21 OK. So now, let's add a project.
I want this recipe to belong to a project. I'll click Add. And we'll call this Cone 6 Base Glaze Development
I'll save it. Now you notice Insight-live has given it an ID number of 49.
So to assign that to the recipe I'll go in there go to this project blank and type in 49. Click Save.
Now you can see that it now knows that it belongs to Cone 6 glaze development.
So you might wonder, why did we do it this way, why didn't we do it like the typecodes.
And the reason for that is that projects will be much more entangled in the link structure of
your local data and they will be a central contruct of Insight-live in the future.
We will need a more direct linking mechanism.
For example, you will be able to find a project and see all of its member recipes, and in future all the materials, tests, even glossary entries that belong to that same project.

8A. Pictures, Uploading, Search by Picture
22:40 Now I am going to add a couple of pictures to this recipe.
So to start I'll simply click Choose File.
The recipe is already open. I'll choose that one and click Upload.
And now I have a picture here, and this is the recipe with 5% tin.
I can click it and have a closer look at it. I'll close it.
Now let's edit this recipe, and I'll just put the picture title in here: '5% tin'
And notes: It's not quite opaque enough. And I'll save that.
Let's go back in there for a moment.
Notice this: PictureBaseName. I am going to copy that to the clipboard.
That is the mechanism by which you can bring in large numbers of pictures,
because that is from a file imported from desktop Insight.
So I am going to click Done. And then over here I am going to click this camera icon.
And this is where I can upload up to 50 pictures at one time.
It is telling me that I do not have the minimum membership needed.
So on my other computer and I just going to bump that up.

8B 24:01 I'll come back here and refresh this. Now I'll click choose files.
And this is the other one I want to bring in.
But instead of just opening it here I am going to change this name to illustrate a point.
I'll put a hyphen - one.
Now if there was a second picture for this glaze, it would be hyphen two, hyphen three.
And if you were importing from desktop Insight you would have an entire folder of picture files
that look like this.
So lets save that. And now let's bring it in. We'll upload it.
Now we are done. I'll go back home.
So now we have a second picture. Let's go in there and edit this again.
And I'll save this is the black version, it has iron, cobalt and manganese.
And I'll save this.
Ok, now let's do something interesting here. Let's search by picture.
I am going to click on this icon: Search recipes by picture. And there's my two pictures.
But since the recipe is already open behind here,
I am just going to click Continue to go back there.
Let's close this recipe. And then we'll click this icon again.
Now if I click on either one of these, here the recipe is open.

9. Variations, Additions, Mix Tickets
25:47 Now I want to assign a code number to this recipe that I can write it on test specimens so I can connect them with the records in the computer.
And the logical way to do that is simply to click Edit here.
And type in the code number: G1000 for example, G for glaze tests.
But there is a better way to do that, because I do not really know if 1000 is the next one in sequence.
And obviously I want to have them sequential.
These three little letters are the key.
To demonstrate that they do I am going to go to the preferences dialog....
I have already set up three code number prefixes: G, B and P (for Glazes, Bodies and Production Tests).
So if I just click on this G now it is going to find the next one for me.
And since I do not have any assigned already, it starts off at 1000.
So that's good.
Now I need to be able to print a recipe for this white.
How am I going to do that because the tin not in the recipe?

26:53 Well, the key to being able to do that is additions.
Additions to recipes are materials like colorants, opacifiers and variegators.
And I do that by clicking Edit (I'll just zoom out a little bit) and here is where I add lines to the recipe.
Here is where I add additions. So I'll enter 1 here and click Save and now I have my addition.
And so now I can type in my Tin Oxide, 5, and I have to remember to put gm or it is going to complain.
Save. And they it is. I have an addition. Now let's just print a batch ticket here.
I'll go for a thousand. There it is. OK.
Now, if I contrast that with a regular report, notice the regular report is not retotalled to the batch that I specified.
Now what if I want to print a report or mix ticket for the black glaze, how am I going to do that?
Well the key to being able to do that is variations.
And variations are one of the most powerful features of Insight-Live.
I am not going to need that black picture anymore because I am going to attach it to the variation.
I am going to click this checkbox. Click Save. And that is going to remove it.
And now I'll click done, and down at the bottom here I have a little Add button to add a variation.Here it is.

28:26 OK, so I am going to call this variation 'number 2'. So the code number is going to be G-dash-1000-2
And the name, or more correctly, the name extension, is going to be 'black'.
So it is going to be called Transparent Cone 6 hyphen black.
And then in here I put my first material, which is iron oxide, and there is 4 parts, 4 grams.
I am going to add another material and then in the notes I am going to say: "Do not apply this too thinly."
And then I'll save.
The act of saving is going to add another line, by the way. I need three, so I am going to do one more.
And the second material is cobalt oxide, three. So this is going to be an expensive glaze.
And manganese dioxide, two.
Now I need to add the picture in here that we had in the recipe itself, so Choose File: there's my picture. Upload.
Now I can also have individual notes on this picture. Maybe I'll just call it a mug.......... and save.
And notice that a batch can also have its own batch total.
I'll make that 1000 and print. There we are.
Notice the added tin oxide is not shown, just the batch.
Notice I forgot the units on the other two oxides, so I have to go back there and put those in.
If I print a report of this I'm going to see a picture, and it is not going to be retotalled.
OK. Also, I want to point out something else about reports as well:
If I choose Report, and then I copy this, it will paste nicely into many programs.

10. Firing Schedules: 31:15 (close all to prepare)
Another powerful feature of Insight-Live is ability
firing schedules and link them to recipes.
Notice I have logged out and logged back in via https for secure
Lets make one
I have closed all the panels. Add.
Edit name, description (name of kiln).
Type can be rate or period:
Rate: specify deg/hr,
Period: time to reach temp
Set temperature scale
Start time (so it can predict when each stage)
Start temperature (more accurate prediction for first step
-To add a step click here (note popup).
Notice column header popups
-To delete:
-When no steps present this button appears (popup tip)
-Have spreadsheet with a schedule (has rate, temp, holdtime)
Copy it, paste (has to have tabs to work), Interpret
Steps were auto-numbered (I could have included a column for #s)
-Notes were not affected (only lines having tabs were used).
-Duration and time are calculated for each step
Link recipe to a schedule: check schedule, click link: they are side by side

11. Secure connection
Before finished I just want to mention that you can connect to Insight-live via SSL on a secure connection.
For these lessons I have not been doing that because secure connections are a little slower.
But of course you may want to do that.
And so to do that I am going to log out, and then up at the top here.. I will put in the http://
So that is the URL that I would normally go to to login, but if I wanted to be secure I need to put an S in here.
NOw if I press enter it will go to the login page and I can proceed normally.

This was an introduction to Insight-Live.
Please let us know if you find any issues with site operation, we will address them quickly.

Out Bound Links

By Tony Hansen

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