« Reading List: The Robert Heinlein Interview | Main | Reading List: The Survivor »

Thursday, July 6, 2017

New: Decide Utility

New at Fourmilab, Decide is a Unix utility, written in Perl, which helps you make decisions with the aid of (pseudo)random numbers from HotBits, the system's /dev/urandom generator, or, if none of the previous two are available, Perl's built-in rand() function.

Based upon the name by which it is invoked and/or options on the command line, Decide can respond with a “Yes” or “No” answer, a binary 1 or 0, one of the twenty responses of the Magic 8-Ball, or with the result of a dice roll specified in the dice notation used by role-playing and war games, including algebraic expressions involving multiple dice throws and constants.

By default, data from the HotBits pseudorandom generator are used, but if you obtain a HotBits API Key, you can base your decisions on radioactively-generated true random numbers.

Decide is intended to run on Unix-like systems. Whether it works on other systems which provide an implementation of Perl depends how faithfully the system implements the LWP::Simple Web access module and the /dev/urandom pseudorandom generator.

Complete documentation and a link to download the utility are available on the Decide home page.

Posted at July 6, 2017 20:16