grng (Google Random Number Generator) was a hobby project done some time ago in an attempt to generate truely random numbers from Google web search results. The code is being preserved here, with maybe the occasional cleanup task.
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= grng 
version 1.1

grng stands for Google Random Number Generator. It has no association with
Google, its trademarks, companies, etc.

== Files

COPYING         The software license, detailing how you can use, edit, etc.
                this software.

grng.bsh        The executable.

words.lst       Used by the executable to query Google. It will append words to
                this file as needed to keep the pump primed. 

== Dependencies

All of the following dependencies must be in the executable path. Versions
listed have been tested and proven to work.

 * bash (3.2) 
 * head
 * sed
 * awk
 * grep
 * netcat

== What does grng do?

grng attempts to generate random numbers with the Google web search engine.
Taking a word from a .lst file, grng googles it and takes the word count from
each of the URLs on the first results page. grng takes the total of all the
word counts and returns it.

To date the resulting word counts have not proven to be truly random or
anywhere close to pseudo random.

== How to use grng

grng will take the first word at the top of the words.lst file and query Google
with it. If there are no words in words.lst then add one to the file - grng
won't run without it.

grng currently doesn't use any flags/options. If you want to change its options
(ex., change its verbosity or binary paths), you'll have to edit the top of
grng.bsh. Read the inline comments for instructions on how to do this.

== Why write grng?

While discussing random numbers on #linuxfriends on I stumbled
across the idea that became grng. grng makes an honest effort to generate
random numbers, not pseudo ones. I hoped that by using randomized human input
from a constantly changing database (Google) that I would be able to extract
random numbers. However, this is not possible as Google uses its patented page
ranking system, which results in the same pages being listed first every time.
Example: if you google "geecs" twice in a row you will receive the same

There is also a geeky cool factor to generating random numbers with a search
engine, which quickly became my "excuse" for writing grng. 

It turned out to be a fun '05 summer hack.

== Authors

Anyone who has contributed to this release (code, testing, doc writing, etc.).

Sam Bisbee      <>