Address: 125 2800 13th Ave SE, Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada T1A 3P9
FAX (403) 527-7508
Purpose of This Web Site
We are on a mission to help manufacturers and educators who not only want to make beautiful functional objects but have a sense of accountability for their durability, strength, and safety and a desire to take control and not abdicate it to suppliers, consultants, or educators.
Since 1995 we have involved ourselves in a wide range of Internet activities related to the ceramic industry, this is all being done in order to ultimately make INSIGHT software completely integral with the internet ceramic community. Sites such as the Digitalfire Reference Library communicate with INSIGHT, are built on database foundations and are much more complex than INSIGHT itself. Insight is moving from the PC to the internet (including the smartphone and tablet).
Who are We?
Digitalfire Corporation is a company dedicated to the dream of enhancing the power of ceramic chemistry and physical testing and seeing them and materials information made available to more people and companies in the ceramic industry and arts. Since the introduction of the first micro-computers in the late 1970's, we have worked to develop software and printed materials to this end. Digitalfire Corporation has close ties to a number of ceramic manufacturers and raw materials producers and maintains contacts with ceramic related institutions, periodicals and companies around the world.
We published a quarterly newsletter on the use of computers in formulation and trouble-shooting from 1988-1996 and maintained a BBS from 1992 to 1996, and a Web Site since 1995. We publish our own books, software and websites.
- 1978 - 24-year-old Tony Hansen, the plant technician at Plainsman Clays in Alberta, Canada, begins development of INSIGHT. This is shortly after the introduction of the first personal computers by companies like Altair, Apple and Tandy. The first commercial version runs on the Tandy Model III and features separate recipe and formula frames (the term 'window' has not yet been conceived).
- 1983 - He ports it to the first commonly available laptop computer, the Tandy Model 100. The IBM PC is introduced in 1982 (it costs $2500!) and INSIGHT is working on it by 1983.
- 1985 - INSIGHT is working on the first Macintosh 128K (it costs $2500 also).
- 1986 - Digitalfire is one of the first companies to begin paper publishing of books and manuals using newly introduced desktop publishing technology from Aldus and a laser printer by Apple.
- 1987 - Full page ads for INSIGHT first appear in ceramics monthly (and smaller ones in other international publications).
- 1990 - Windows and more Macintosh friendly versions follow in the early nineties.
- 1990 - Digitalfire pioneers eBook publishing (via CD, floppy disk) a decade or more before it goes prime time online. It is among the first companies to produce resolution independent vector graphic artwork in commercial ebooks (using Illustrator and Freehand).
- 1991 - FORESIGHT is the first fully relational recipe, ceramic calculation and physical test record keeping system.
- 1992 - The Digitalfire BBS went online and people were soon dialing in from around the world to download software and ebooks.
- 1995 - Our main website goes online (the same year that Netscape 1.0 and Internet Explorer 1.0 browsers were released). It is changed to Digitalfire.com the next year.
- 1997 - Tony is on a first-name basis with Global Payment Systems as one the earliest adopters of internet eCommerce.
- 2000 - The online Digitalfire Reference Technical Library for traditional ceramics takes shape.
- 2005 - Insight for Linux is introduced.
- 2013 - Insight-live.com goes live, an online workspace and industrial strength combination of our earlier Insight and Foresight products.
- 2015 - Desktop Insight is free to download for anyone having an Insight-live account.
Those decades have required a lot of tenacity to 'hang on' until the traditional ceramic world fully appreciates the value of glaze chemistry and intensive record keeping. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent and many hard lessons learned. Many of our original customers from the 80s are still active users, this is also a powerful incentive.