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Re: Simple Hardware RNG Idea

Perry writes, regarding alpha decay counts for random numbers:

> And, as I noted, there are RS232 interfaceable radiation detectors you
> can buy off the shelf -- no hardware hacking needed.

As far as a radiation source goes, the Americium 241 source from a cheap
smoke detector is just dandy. A while ago, I took one into the lab and
put it on a scintillating counter and got alpha hits at roughly 
half-microsecond intervals. It was a while ago, so I forget how this compared
to the rating in Curies on the package. But that would be fine for a
low-to-moderate bandwidth RNG.

                                    -- Will