the wonderful world of free internet college courses

I didn’t post this site at all in May.  Not because I had stopped my growing activities or lost interest but because I was completing 2 demanding courses on electronics and programming and am in the middle of a new course on Python programming.

College education of your choosing at your convenience with the world’s best colleges for free!  If you are interested and can make time available, this is a bonanza.

My education in South Africa and England was in law, accounting, business and the humanities.  So, since life is a one time experience and I have  interest and time, I am taking and completing courses – lots of them.  My >10 courses with Coursera include:  Sustainability; Animal Behavior; What a Plant  Knows; How Things Work; Introductory Biology; Science from Superheroes to Global Warming; Pre-Calculus; Calculus One; A Brief History of Humankind; Introduction to Electronics; and Linear Circuits.  Two courses I have completed with edX are Electronic Interfaces; and Embedded Systems- Shape the World.  I am currently taking a course on Interactive Programming with Python.

So my interest is focusing on technology – both the hardware (electronics) and the software.  Technology is such a major factor in our lives we cannot ignore it.  Even in farming, smart conventional farmers are using technology to monitor field growing conditions and apply with precision just the right amount of water, fertilizer and ‘cide treatments.  We have to conserve water and minimize toxic runoffs and technology can do this for us.

My studies of electronics help me with diagnosing and understanding the repairs I make, which I have described on this site, and thereby achieve more self-reliance, minimize inconvenience and save money.  My first practical software project will be an automatic chicken coop door  which will open the door in the morning,  count the chickens entering and exiting throughout the day and close the door in the evening when they are all berthed.  My current device, which runs on a time switch (details posted on this site),  just opens  the door each morning.  Then I will develop  enhanced security measures beyond my current setup, where I interact with cameras and security system on the internet.  Finally, when solar panels are more efficient, transition to solar power and grid independence.

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