General Question

TheCreative's avatar

How does a Computer Randomize?

Asked by TheCreative (1210points) May 23rd, 2009

I’m not so sure how a machine would be able to randomize. Is it really random or is there a fixed pattern? Please Help. Thanks.

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7 Answers

Syger's avatar

I remember reading about a computer never being able to be truly random as the method of getting said outcome has to be programmed initially.
As for there being a fixed pattern; in some things there may be but there’s an unlimited number of ways that could be used; time, placement of things, some sort of numerical data, the list goes on and on.

I’m terrible with words, apologies if it’s difficult to understand. :(

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Randomness is extremely difficult to create. Proficient random code generators are worth more than their weight in gold to data encryption companies.

The best random properties come from your television or radio when they not tuned to a station. You can hear and see true randomness in this manner.

Perfect randomness cannot be created. It can only be experienced in the absence of creation. Anything without a code is random. It cannot truly be encoded for.

_bob's avatar

I’m sorry to say this, but, you never really know…

TheCreative's avatar

Wow thanks for your answers! All good things to know.

Ivan's avatar


Arg, you beat me to it.

_bob's avatar

@Ivan Better luck next time, kiddo.

/me does a little dance

zarnold's avatar

I just usually use the current time for most things (in most languages you can “seed” a random number generator with the current time to have an always changing numerical source).

I once read about a poker website that used time values to randomize deck shuffling. Needless to say, someone caught on and was able to predict the other players’ hands just based on the time on the web server…

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