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Ask the Wizard Questions

Game programing on OpenVMS

The Question is:

I have two questions, actually.  The first is I am a Game Programmer
and I would like to know if there is a way to get Random Numbers in
OpenVMS VAX v6.1. If there is could you mail it to me.

The second Question is I was wondering if you could send me some
programs that you use.  This would help me greatly, and I would love
to have them.

Thank You for your time.

The Answer is:

                        -< MTH$RANDOM + language RTLs >-

      The standard runtime library contains a routine which implements a
    mixed congruential method random number generator. By all accounts it's
    an excellent generator. Of course it's quite simple to code your own.
    MTH$RANDOM is only 9 machine instructions long, maybe 4 or 5 lines of
    code in a high level language. Check out a good textbook on the
    subject. Although it's very old, the definitive work is still
    "The Art of Computer Programming, Vol 2, Seminumerical Algorithms,
    Donald E. Knuth, Addison Wesley, 1969(!)"

    Here's what HELP has to say about the routine:

$ help rtl mth$ mth$random




        The Random-Number Generator,  Uniformly  Distributed  routine  is  a
        general random-number generator.


             MTH$RANDOM  seed



        VMS usage: longword_unsigned
        type: longword (unsigned)
	access: modify
        mechanism: by reference

        The integer seed, a 32-bit  number  whose  high-order  24  bits  are
        converted  by  MTH$RANDOM  to an F_floating random number.  The seed
        argument is the address of an unsigned longword that  contains  this
        integer seed.  The seed is modified by each call to MTH$RANDOM.

    Most languages implemented on OpenVMS also have their own run time
    library routine for generating random numbers. See your language
    documentation for details.

    I'm not sure what you're asking here - most of the programs I use
    regularly are commercial products. It works like this: you send us money,
    we send you the program (source code is extra, *LOTS* extra). If you're
    looking for sample programs, I'd suggest the Freeware CD, the DECUS
    library, DSNlink, or the various web sites.