Random Acts of Scripting

Summary

The mathematical literature contains a wealth of information and discussion on random numbers. Much of it explains why this method or that method is not good enough to generate truly random numbers. Some papers reject pseudo-random number generators altogether; others allow that they have their uses.

For practical purposes, however, PRNGs are adequate in the majority of cases, and certainly for anything one is likely to do in a shell script. The scripts in this chapter presented methods of generating and manipulating random numbers as well as some applications for them.

They will serve you well for day-to-day use, but please don’t use them for encrypting national secrets!

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Copyright information

© Chris F. A. Johnson 2005

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