Random Number seeds, was RE: First computer with real-time clock?

From: John Lawson <jpl15_at_panix.com>
Date: Sun Aug 1 18:07:31 2004

  Computer-based ramndom number seed generation:

   I may at some point remember the machine/manufacturer, but I *do* recall
tha one (perhaps Gummint-oriented?) device used a standard radio buried in
it somewhere, tuned to a local station, the output of which was digitized
and the seeds extracted from that... as I write this, IISTR that it was
some kind of crypto-thingy...

   One of my favorite Random/Chaos devices, is the glass decorative neon
'candle' lamp - it has parallel adjacent metal plates shaped like a small
candle flame, and the Neon pressure is adjusted so that the discharge
plays over the surface of the plates, giving an orange flickering 'candle
flame' effect.

   Without going into the physics/math involved, these flickers have a
quite random period and map completely onto the Chaos domain. I have a
couple that I have built to produce low-speed chaos events for triggering
Music Apparatus... but a simple timing slicer looking at the output of
one of these would return quite random-length numbers for every 'trigger'

Received on Sun Aug 01 2004 - 18:07:31 BST

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