A Few Historical Random Number Generators

GaltonsDice-web

A few historical random number generators. From top to bottom: Galton’s dice (capable of 24 digits instead of the usual 6), a Type 1390-B Random Noise Generator (runs on 6D4 tubes and was likely the device used for RAND Corp’s “A Million Random Digits”), and the first two iterations of random.org’s generators (both run on un-tuned radio noise fed into a computer).

Type1390-B_RandomNoiseGenerator-web

OriginalRandomOrgSetupWithRadio-web

RandomOrgRadioSetupV2-web

Electron Microscope

HD_09

I was fortunate enough this week to visit the Stevens Laboratory for Multiscale Imaging, home to the campus’ electron microscope. Generously, they offered for me to make some images on the microscope. I brought in small (12mm square) samples of a hard-drive platter (above), a small 3D print and a CD-R. More images after the break; a full set of images and process photos here.

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