1994-06-19 - Re: Hardware generators was: your mail

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From: SINCLAIR DOUGLAS N <sinclai@ecf.toronto.edu>
To: roy@sendai.cybrspc.mn.org (Roy M. Silvernail)
Message Hash: 703faa8df1aebfdbbafd086891a8f7e48f2eeee3f82dd0ae82a62b82a5f2d41c
Message ID: <94Jun19.123759edt.16565@cannon.ecf.toronto.edu>
Reply To: <940619.102103.9N5.rusnews.w165w@sendai.cybrspc.mn.org>
UTC Datetime: 1994-06-19 16:38:09 UTC
Raw Date: Sun, 19 Jun 94 09:38:09 PDT

Raw message

From: SINCLAIR  DOUGLAS N <sinclai@ecf.toronto.edu>
Date: Sun, 19 Jun 94 09:38:09 PDT
To: roy@sendai.cybrspc.mn.org (Roy M. Silvernail)
Subject: Re: Hardware generators was: your mail
In-Reply-To: <940619.102103.9N5.rusnews.w165w@sendai.cybrspc.mn.org>
Message-ID: <94Jun19.123759edt.16565@cannon.ecf.toronto.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

> The card design isn't so much security as avoiding scarce real estate on
> a PC (which, at somewhere over 130 million units fielded, is a not
> inconsiderable market segment).  If this were a dongle device, I'd want
> it on a parallel port.  Many machines don't have a spare serial port,
> and transparent dongles would be harder to do there, anyway.  But
> transparent parallel port dongle technology is already established.

I agree.  I have constructed a parallel port RNG that sampled a blank
AM radio band for its source.  The data lines give plenty of power to
the device, and there are dedicated feedback lines (busy, paper_out, &c).

However, I had a very informative discussion with Eric Hughes at
CF '94 where I learned that this was the wrong way to go to get good
random numbers.  Maybe he would like to comment since I don't
believe I can do justice to his argument.