See the Biography page for a photo of my Albuquerque workbench where circuits were built that led to the founding of MITS, Inc., the company that introduced the Altair 8800 microcomputer in 1975. The Altair was developed by Ed Roberts with help from William Yates. I wrote the operator's manual. (More photos of the workbench are at www.sunandsky.org until they can be moved here.)
Paul Allen and Bill Gates moved to Albuquerque to develop software for the MITS Altair. There they formed Microsoft. Allen and Gates are the principal funders of STARTUP: Albuquerque and the Personal Computer Revolution, a permanent exhibit at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science that opened 18 November 2006. Minnie and I attended the STARTUP opening events and spent quality time with Ed Roberts, the former president of MITS. See photo of MITS founders Ed Roberts, Bob Zaller and me and Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen here.
See the new Rejected Publications section at the end of the Publications page. Featured is a letter on "junk" DNA rejected by Science in 1994.
Thanks to my wife, Minnie Chavez Mims, for typing 365 science column and a few hundred magazine article citations that have been added to the Publications page. More article citations will be added when we can find the time.
Daughter Sarah Mims is still featured in a NASA exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. Sarah won a 2005 Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award for her discovery of living fungal spores and bacteria arriving in Texas from Yucatan. Sarah has also been featured in a NASA web site, various magazines and the book Makers.
See my hypothesis concerning association of UV-B and avian influenza (bird flu) in Southeast Asia published in Environmental Health Perspectives. The Seguin USDA UV-B site will have 3 years of data in March 2007. My sun and sky observation site here at the field I call Geronimo Creek Observatory has 17 years of data as of February 2007. My Other Sites To learn more about how it is possible to do science with no academic training (my degree is in government), see this essay in Science.
See my new YouTube clips. These are primitive, but they certainly affirm the science opportunities for this technology.
My weekly newspaper science column that has appeared in the Seguin Gazette-Enterprise since 1999 now also appears each Monday on the science page of the San Antonio Express-News. The column also appears on the paper's web site. Please let your local paper know that the column is available for syndication.
'Country Scientist' starting column today in Express-News
FROM STAFF REPORTS
October 30, 2006
Forrest Mims III, an amateur scientist and author who has pointed out errors in NASA data and published scholarly papers in prestigious journals, begins writing a column today for the San Antonio Express-News. "The Country Scientist" will appear on the newspaper's Science page in the Business section every Monday and will explore how science intersects with everyday life.
"I approach science with the curiosity of a child," Mims said. "I live a constant science fair project."
Mims, 62, has no academic training in science but still has carved a career as a science author, lecturer and syndicated columnist. He has written instructional books on electronics and published papers and photographs in some 70 magazines and journals, including Nature, Science and Popular Mechanics. He is a writer and editor for the Society for Amateur Scientists.
In 1990, he used a $300 homemade instrument to detect a flaw in the way a NASA satellite was measuring deterioration of the ozone layer. The discovery "caused a big flap," he said, but ended up earning him an invitation to speak at the agency.
He said the incident proved to be his big break, winning him recognition as a serious scientist in professional circles. He later was given a Rolex Award for Enterprise for the instrument he built.
Mims is a Texas native who lived in many places during service with the Air Force. He returned to the San Antonio area in 1975 and has lived outside Seguin since 1985, regularly measuring the ozone layer, haze and ultraviolet rays from a field he calls Geronimo Creek Observatory.
He is married to Minnie Chavez Mims, and they have three adult children. Copyright 2006San Antonio Express-News.
Scientific Research Geronimo Creek Observatory, ozone measurements, ultraviolet monitoring, smoke studies, haze measurements and biological studies.
Science Data Representative time series of some measurements made at Geronimo Creek Observatory since 1990, including the ozone layer, solar UV-B, aerosol optical thickness and total column water vapor. Best viewed with a broadband connection.
UV-B Network Forrest M. Mims III is the site operator of the USDA UV-B monitoring site at Texas Lutheran University, Seguin, Texas.
Instruments TOPS and Microtops (total ozone), Sun photometers (haze), near-IR hygrometers (column water vapor), sunlight radiometers (UV-B and photosynthetic radiation). Also, eyeglass-mounted, near-infrared travel aid for the blind.
Publications Scientific and technical publications, books and magazine articles. More than 500 publications have been added to the list here and at www.sunandsky.org. More will be added when time permits.
Family Forrest & Minnie; Eric & Jane; Micheal & Vicki & Isabella; and Sarah. Book Store Getting Started in Electronics ( more than 1.4 million sold) and the four collected volumes of the Mini-Notebook series are available online at ForrestMims.com. Other books are available online at Amazon.com. (search on Forrest Mims) or book stores. Or do a search on the book title (in quote marks) at www.google.com.
Lab Kit Store The following Radio Shack lab kit is available from RadioShack (enter "Mims" in search window). "Electronics Learning Lab" (28-280). Complete analog and digital electronics lab kit with two 96-page manuals. $59.99. The "Sun and Sky Monitoring Station" (28-281) is out of production. This kit is a four-channel Sun photometer and radiometer with a 3.5-digit readout, bubble level and compass. It includes a four-unit study course in highly illustrated 64-page manual. It sold for $29.99 new, and you might be able to find it at various Internet sale sites. Society for Amateur Scientists (SAS) The Citizen Scientist is edited by Forrest M. Mims III. This publication and many amateur science resources are available at http://www.sas.org/tcs. If you are interested in promoting science to students, point them to www.labrats.org. This budding organization has major potential.
This site is copyright 2004-07. Click here to read permission policy. Last updated: 07 February 2007.
Sun and sky over Hawaii's Mauna Loa Observatory
Measuring smoke at Alta Floresta, Brazil
RadioShack Sun & Sky Monitoring Station
The Mauna Loa Observatory lidar probes the stratosphere on 5 December 2006. Photograph by Forrest M. Mims III.
Salt crystals from the Pacific Ocean collected by Jim Scanlon and photographed by Forrest M. Mims III.
Cumulus clouds race south as a cool front slides under midlevel clouds moving north.
Close Call, a very close lightning bolt. Photograph by Forrest M. Mims III
The extraordinarily rare Texas star (Chorioactis geaster) is found only on the Japanese island Kyushu and in seven Texas counties--and at Geronimo Creek Observatory. Copyright by Forrest M. Mims III.