Random Numbers ============== A deterministic computer program cannot generate true random numbers. For most purposes, "pseudo-random numbers" suffice. A series of pseudo-random numbers is generated in a deterministic fashion. The numbers are not truly random, but they have certain properties that mimic a random series. For example, all possible values occur equally often in a pseudo-random series. In Emacs, pseudo-random numbers are generated from a "seed" number. Starting from any given seed, the `random' function always generates the same sequence of numbers. Emacs always starts with the same seed value, so the sequence of values of `random' is actually the same in each Emacs run! For example, in one operating system, the first call to `(random)' after you start Emacs always returns -1457731, and the second one always returns -7692030. This repeatability is helpful for debugging. If you want random numbers that don't always come out the same, execute `(random t)'. This chooses a new seed based on the current time of day and on Emacs's process ID number. - Function: random &optional limit This function returns a pseudo-random integer. Repeated calls return a series of pseudo-random integers. If LIMIT is a positive integer, the value is chosen to be nonnegative and less than LIMIT. If LIMIT is `t', it means to choose a new seed based on the current time of day and on Emacs's process ID number. On some machines, any integer representable in Lisp may be the result of `random'. On other machines, the result can never be larger than a certain maximum or less than a certain (negative) minimum.
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