Echoes from the past: LavaRnd


I found an old website from the past: LavaRnd.

It’s no secret that I’ve always been fascinated by random numbers generation (Random bytes and co., Crypt::URandom, A 4-faces die from a 6-faces die, …). As a student in University, I spent lot* of time dealing with the signal part, so the fact that generating good noise is actually difficult to get right is both counter-intuitive and amazing.

So a lot of time ago I stumbled upon LavaRnd, and found it very interesting at the time. As I found it again now, it’s amusing how it came with a Perl suite of modules:

Perl programmers should use the perldoc command:

perldoc LavaRnd::Exit
perldoc LavaRnd::Retry
perldoc LavaRnd::Return
perldoc LavaRnd::S100_Any
perldoc LavaRnd::TryOnce_Any
perldoc LavaRnd::Try_Any

to learn how to use the Perl interface.

Alas, it was so much easier to be a Perl programmer in the early 2000 🙄

Today, I have to admit that I’m not totally convinced of the scrambling approach: I’d probably prefer an approach that removes the signal to only keep the noise (e.g. by subtracting two consecutive sample images), but I understand that the devil is in the details, including how the data from the CCD are taken and transferred (possibly without any processing).

There also seem to be a lot of similar approaches that flourished in time, e.g. Quantum Random Number Generation on a Mobile Phone, where by similar I mean using a camera to get some randomness from around.

All in all… this is fascinating. Stay safe please!

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