```Part 11
Random Numbers

Subjects covered...

RANDOMIZE
RND

This section deals with the keywords RND and RANDOMIZE.

In some ways RND is like a function - it does calculations and
produces a result. It is unusual in that it does not need an argument.

Each time you use it, its result is a new random number between 0 and
1. (Sometimes it can take the value 0, but never 1.)

Try...

10 PRINT RND
20 GO TO 10

...to see how the answer varies. Can you detect any pattern? You
shouldn't be able to - 'random' means that there is no pattern.

Actually, RND is not truly random, because it follows a fixed sequence
of 65536 numbers. However, these are so thoroughly jumbled up that
there are at least no obvious patterns, and we say that RND is
pseudo-random.

RND gives a random number between 0 and 1, but you can easily get
random numbers in other ranges. For instance, '5*RND' is between 0 and
5, and '1.3+0.7*RND' is between 1.3 and 2. To get whole numbers, uses
INT (remembering that INT always rounds down) as in '1+INT(RND*6)',
which we shall use in a program to simulate dice. 'RND*6' is in the
range 0 to 6, but since it never actually reaches 6, 'INT(RND*6)' is
0, 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5.

Here is the program...

10 REM dice throwing program
20 CLS
30 FOR n=1 TO 2
40 PRINT 1+ INT ( RND *6);" ";
50 NEXT n
60 INPUT a\$: GO TO 20

Press ENTER each time you wish to 'throw' the dice.

The RANDOMIZE statement may be used to make RND start off at a
definite place in its sequence of numbers, as you can see with this
program...

10 RANDOMIZE 1
20 FOR n=1 TO 5: PRINT RND ,: NEXT n
30 PRINT: GO TO 10

After each execution of 'RANDOMIZE 1', the RND sequence starts off
again with 0.0022735596. You can use other numbers between 1 and 65535
in the RANDOMIZE statement to start the RND sequence off at different
places.

If you had a program with RND in it and it also had some mistakes that
that the program behaved the same way each time you ran it.

RANDOMIZE used on its own (or RANDOMIZE 0) have a different effect -
they really do randomise RND - you can see this in the next program...

10 RANDOMIZE
20 PRINT RND : GO TO 10

The sequence you get here is not very random, because RANDOMIZE uses
the time since the +3 was switched on. As this has gone up by the same
amount each time that RANDOMIZE is executed, the next RND does more or
less the same. You would get better 'randomness' by replacing 'GO TO
10' by 'GO TO 20'.

Here is a program to toss coins and count the numbers of heads and
tails...

20 LET coin= INT ( RND *2)
40 IF coin=1 THEN LET tails=tails+1
60 IF tails <> 0 THEN PRINT heads/tails;
70 PRINT: GO TO 20

The ratio of heads to tails should become approximately 1 if you go on
long enough, because in the long run you expect approximately equal

Exercise...

1. Choose a number between 1 and 872 and type...