Re: [stella] entropy & randomness

Subject: Re: [stella] entropy & randomness
From: Erik Mooney <erik@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2001 01:34:46 -0400
On Wed, 10 Oct 2001 23:28:33 -0500 (CDT), you wrote:

>On a side note, does anyone know of any maximal length sets(sets where
>there are 2^n-1 iterations to repear) with n (much) larger?  I have a
>project which uses 36, but I'd like to make it much longer for geekiness
>value(to be able to say it won't repeat for the life of the universe).  My
>register is 242 bits, so anything between 36 and 242 would be helpful.

Now _there's_  a problem that can't be brute-forced... :)

>Another way to set a seed is to have a counter incrementing every frame,
>and wait until the player presses reset, then take the counter value.
>In simon, I wanted true randomness, so I keep that counter going through
>out the game, and sampled whenever the player pressed the joystick.  
>Given that I only needed a 2 bit random number, and the presumption that
>the player cannot control when she presses the button to within 1/15 of a
>second, it becomes a true random number based on the player response.  Of
>course this method depends on needing a sufficiently small number of bits,
>and that the game garuntees that the player presses the button at least
>once before every time you need a new number.

I think you might be surprised at the timing accuracy that video game
players are capable of.  Take a PC and set the keyboard to the highest
repeat rate, which is 30 characters per second.  Move through some text by
holding down an arrow key, aiming for a certain character, and release.
If you end within one character of the target, you had 1/15 of a second
accuracy.  I can do it 90% consistently, and (this scares me) about 60%
consistently with my eyes closed.

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