I received the email telling me how to log on to the Swinburne Astronomy Online (SAO) short course.
I managed to get onto their oh-so-slow system. They use a package with clunky java applets and ugly frames – very 1990s. I tried to change my password, which can be easily derived if you know my name, but the system would not let me.
Week 0 is for introductions. The system, rather than use a content system like GeekLog or Joomla, uses a third party course system. The chief communications method is via newsgroups (1980s).
Luckily, the software will not be how I judge the course. If, at the end of the six weeks, I manage to learn something new, I will count it as a net gain.
I learned my astronomy from the likes of Asimov, Heinlein and Clarke. You can’t get better teachers, so it will be interesting to see how this goes.