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Good striking is a joy to hear - how can you achieve it?
You need more than good bell control. You need to develop a good ear so you can detect and correct tiny errors before anyone listening outside notices them. Now, thanks to modern technology, you can develop your listening skill at any time, whatever your level of expertise, and without the distraction of bell handling, catching the rope, or other ringers' mistakes.
!Strike lets you see how good your listening is, and helps you practise to listen more accurately. Whatever level you are at, !Strike can give you exercises that are not too easy and not too difficult. It repeats the same sound patterns as long as you need to focus on them in order to work out what is happening. It uses clear natural bell sounds and it gives instant feedback by showing you where the bells are actually striking. It is very easy to use.
How does it work?
!Strike generates the sound of real church bells ringing with a perfect rhythm and then varies the rhythm so that one or more bells is not striking when it should. The number and size of these errors is under your control. You can use it in two ways:
!Strike can ring from 4 to 16 bells. You can make the bells sound heavy or light, and you can vary the speed of the ringing.
Using !Strike is fun.
As you increase the difficulty, the challenge rises. It can become addictive. To add that extra spice, !Strike scores your progress. The more difficult the task, the quicker you complete it and the better the result, the higher your score. !Strike even has a league table, so you can compete against your own previous performances or against your friends. Who said bell ringing was less exciting than video games?
All controls and displays are clearly laid out and easy to understand. You don't need to know anything about computers - just point and click. !Strike provides built in, real time Help on all controls, and comes with user notes so you can get the most out of it. You can use !Strike by yourself, in a group or as a tutor. See some screen shots .
!Strike runs on RISC OS . Some computers run RISC-OS natively (Armini, BIK, A9Home, Iyonix, ... ). You can run !Strike on a Mac, Linux or Windows computer using an emulator (eg from RISC OS Open or from Virtual Acorn ).
!Strike is designed to run with full accuracy (a thousandth of a second) even on quite old machines. Old Acorn RISC OS machines are often available for nothing if you know where to look (or get a second hand machine, eg offers from CJE Micros). Several ringers have obtained RISC OS machines in this way, in order to run !Strike.
I make no profit on !Strike, but I charge £10 and donate the proceeds to bell restoration work.
If you would like a copy of !Strike, please send a cheque for £10 to: John Harrison, 2 Murdoch Road, Wokingham, Berks RG40 2DA. If you would like to know more about it, see my e-mail contact details here .
See the article I wrote in 1999 !Strike the killer app?
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