To open the back pull on the rewind knob ( pulling up ) until back opens. Check that your 6 volt battery is ok ( ae -1 has an electronic shutter so will not work without a battery ): battery situated on the left hand side of the camera ( if it is facing you ) underneath small flip up door ( lock is at the bottom on the left of the small door ) . Check the battery by pressing the shutter release gently and seeing if your light meter needle moves. No movement ? replace battery. You have two modes for taking pictures : auto which is actually AV ( aperture priority) or full manual : both are set by moving the shutter speed dial on the top right hand side ( underneath film winding lever ).
Usually answered in minutes!