Are you planning on discontinuing desktop Insight?
No, this cannot be done for several reasons:
- For the foreseeable future desktop Insight will be stronger as an interactive ceramic chemistry calculator, an online app cannot complete with a locally installed one for interactivity and speed.
- The programming language we use for desktop Insight continues to evolve and has powerful new features and runs on more devices, so we want to continue to take advantage of these things. Desktop Insight is working well, we certainly do not want to kill it.
- We are planning to expand the ways in which the two products can work together. For example, management of your Insight materials table will be much easier within Insight-Live, the two will talk to each other to keep in materials in sync.
- Desktop Insight is now free to people having an Insight-live.com account (you download it from the File manager) within Insight-live.
Can I just try it?
No. We do not want just anyone inside, only those who are serious (for security reasons). You need to purchase 6 months of standard membership to try it, it only costs pennies a day. This help system has plenty of information to help you decide.
Notwithstanding that we do give demo accounts to some people where we have a reasonable idea of their intentions.
How private will my data be?
Very private (see the section on 'Security, Privacy' for more information, we have taken key measures that very few other sites have taken, can take or even want to take to assure security). How private is your data right now on your PC? How sure are you that that your computer has not been hacked and that others have access to your data as you read this? Breaking into someones WIFI network and then their PC is a far easier task than breaking into a proprietary web server like Insight-Live.
We all work almost everyday on sites like Facebook, Ebay, iTunes, our bank, etc. These companies have our credit card information within their systems, but we have learned to accept the risk to get the benefits. For the vast majority of users, information within Insight-Live will not be nearly as sensitive. For those for whom it is, we assure you that security is the number one driving force to how we design the site.
How safe will my data be?
Very safe. Much safer than on your PC. Insight-Live is hosted on a dedicated server in a large data warehouse (Codero), this company hosts many of the mega-sites that you may be visiting everyday. At frequent intervals it is synced with a second shadow cloud server hosted at another data warehouse (Amazon, the #1 hosting company in the world), that server is kept ready-to-go at all times. We control the DNS records on the backup server and can make a switch-over in minutes.
Think about how safe the Insight data is on your PC now. We have found that many customers do not do regular backups. Even if they do, they do not understand exactly where Insight keeps its data and how it uses it; this lack of understanding can lead to problems during upgrading. These dangers are inapplicable on Insight-Live.
I do not want to pay every month?
To survive and thrive we need a monetization plan. Think carefully before trusting your data to a place that does not have this. Insight-live is very powerful and comprehensive and will grow steadily because we have a secure income that we can budget.
You can pay semi-annually, annually or less frequently. You might want to own software and install software on your PC the way we did in the past, but those days are rapidly disappearing. On-Line is better for both of us (read the points under the heading 'What is the point of this' for some of the reasons why).
If you do not renew your Insight-live account we do not erase your data, so you can renew anytime and it will still be there. You will even be able to login and see your data before renewing (although not able to edit it).
Is this for the benefit of Digitalfire or for me?
Both of us. Certain things are better delivered and consumed/used on the internet, others in a locally installed application on your PC. Glaze chemistry calculations, for example, are interactive and better done on the PC. Cooperative management of a materials database is better done on the net whereas management of a private materials database is better done locally on the PC. Management of a testing program by a group of people is obviously better done on the internet. We are developing a strategy for this now and we simply cannot do it without the leveraging the advantages of each platform.
What is the point of this?
Internet operability is the number one focus of almost every software company on earth (including us). We work online today, students especially expect to be connected, these are a big chunk of our customers. There are key advantages of internet applications:
- Auto-Update: Every user is always working on the latest version of the software, there is no need to install anything on your computer.
- Any time, anywhere: It is always there in the cloud, ready to connect to.
- Use your own device: Users can connect using a wide range of devices and operating systems.
- Focus: It gives us one central place to focus our development efforts and you one place to store all your data.
- Cooperation: It provides more opportunities to develop ways for users to share data, help each other, communicate and mentor.
- Mature infrastructure: Modern data warehouses that host dedicated and cloud servers are extremely reliable and fault tolerant systems, much more so than your PC.
- Auto-backup: Most desktop Insight users do not know where it stores its data and do not back it up (even though we clearly document this). Many have lost their data when their PCs crash. There is much less chance of losing your information in an account at Insight-live.
- Security: Most PCs are not secured well, tens of millions are being infected with spyware constantly. Security is our number one focus.
Why access my data from my phone?
You need something worth accessing, right? It sounds like you might not have an active and constant testing program to develop new glazes and bodies, test and prove existing ones, deal with problems, make adjustments, etc. If you do, and all the information to administer that program is on Insight-Live, then you will need it whereever you are. In fact, the existence of Insight-Live may be just the push you need to develop a better R&D program for your company.
Why can I not continue to just use desktop Insight?
You can. Deskop Insight is a separate product and it is now free (you download it from the Files manager within your Insight-live account). However it does not have near the capability of Insight-live.
Will Digitalfire go broke and take my data to its grave?
We are not an upstart company, we have been around since 1982. But, you are right, anything can happen. But we have thought of this already. A key feature of Insight-Live from the beginning is that it works on the same database file format as desktop Insight, they can exchange data. You can click one button anytime and all your data is downloaded to your PC in a database file that desktop Insight can open. That file can in turn be uploaded to Insight-Live. So if either side of this system fails your data is left on the other.
Is this difficult to use?
If you expect something super simple, you are in the wrong place. We are dealing with putting within your reach complex chemistry and physics record keeping and a science that imposes a physical presence that requires analysis on many levels. But our job is to put that within your reach. But it is possible to use the system in a simplistic way to just record and print recipes, for example.
We provide videos to demonstrate all functions of the site and these are created on an ongoing basis. So once you learn how to use Insight-live, then you will likely agree that it is not difficult. Of course, we are always open to ways of changing the user interface that will simplify things without sacrificing functionality.
Does Insight-live do glaze chemistry?
Yes. There are many videos on our youtube channel (see the videos topic). In addition, there is a link to click at the bottom of each recipe to selectively turn on the display of its chemistry (e.g. for clay bodies you would not normally need to see the formula or chemical analysis). When chemistry is calculated Insight-live does many checks and warns you of any issues that could affect the accuracy.
Compared to Desktop Insight
|It's online, runs in the cloud||Yes||No|
|Works on all Smartphones, Tablets||Yes||No|
|No need to install, update software||Yes||No|
|Features evolve automatically||Yes||No|
|Unlimited materials, recipes||Yes||No|
|Physical testing data management||Yes||No|
|Picture searching, management||Yes||No|
|Reference recipes, materials||Yes||No|
|Side-by-side recipes, materials||Yes||No|
|Secure, backed up||Yes||No|
|Low initial expense||Yes||No|
|Included free with desktop Insight||Yes||No|
|Easier tech support||Yes||No|