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Re: Rander box and other stuff



Eric Hollander writes:

> All of these designs leave us Mac users a bit out in the cold.  My powerbook
> 100 has one lonely little serial port and no parallel port.  Desktop macs
> usually have two serial ports, and it's not easy to add more.
> 
> For us powerbook users (and also for users of other notebooks), we want
> something which is internal.  It's horible to have little things dangling
> off of your nice little notebook.  They inevitably get pulled out, etc.

Maybe I'm being crypto-dense, but why would individual Powerbook 100
users care so much about generating the bits in the volumes that a
hardware-based RNG is designed to supply?

For filling a CD-ROM (600 MB) with good random bits, I can see the
need for a back-biased diode source (such as Tony Patti's widget), but
such filling of a CD-ROM presumes a fair amount of other stuff, like
the CD-ROM burners, etc. I can't imagine a PB 100 user, and I'm one of
them, developing OTPs on CD-ROMs on the PowerBook.

For generating PGP keys, the keyboard timing methods work quite well,
as several folks have pointed out.

Maybe for some of the dynamic key generation applications that will be
appearing in the next couple of years such a hardware RNG will be
useful (so that the bits can be generated in the absence of a human
operator, and at higher rates). But I don't see them needed
immediately, and certainly not on a PowerBook. (No insult to the
PowerBook, it's just that I can't see Eric Hughes' and Hal Finney's
remailer running on such a platform, for obvious reasons.)

Am I missing something?

--Tim


-- 
..........................................................................
Timothy C. May         | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,  
[email protected]       | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
408-688-5409           | knowledge, reputations, information markets, 
W.A.S.T.E.: Aptos, CA  | black markets, collapse of governments.
Higher Power: 2^756839 | PGP Public Key: awaiting Macintosh version.



-- 
..........................................................................
Timothy C. May         | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,  
[email protected]       | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
408-688-5409           | knowledge, reputations, information markets, 
W.A.S.T.E.: Aptos, CA  | black markets, collapse of governments.
Higher Power: 2^756839 | PGP Public Key: awaiting Macintosh version.