Help ...

Dmitri dmitri at
Sat May 4 01:29:02 CEST 2002

On Fri, 2002-05-03 at 15:07, Marc Mutz wrote:

> On Friday 03 May 2002 23:26, Tracy Ding wrote:
> <snip>
> > The program stuck there waiting for more bytes: <snip>
> > Not enough random bytes available.  Please do some other work to give
> > the OS a chance to collect more entropy! (Need 300 more bytes)
> <snip>
> Sorry, you _can_ read, can you? :-(
> You can: start bonnie in the background, hit the keyboard monkey-style, move 
> the mouse wildly (maybe dragging a window around), or all at once... :-o

I believe, the original cry for help was not unfounded. Here is why.

First of all, the message "Not enough random bytes available" may be
perceived by novices as an ERROR. It is phrased this way. Failed. No
luck. Come back in next millennium. Or something like that.

Secondly, the advice "Please do some other work" can be understood as
"give the computer more time, and meanwhile do something different, like
walking the dog..." If the user does that, the dog gets the entropy -
not the computer ;-)

Apparently, in this very case the user left the computer alone for some
time, and then complained that the program does not go anywhere.

This is because only computer geeks would equal "some other work" to
"some other work with this computer". Normal people have other "work" to
do. Naturally, if the computer is just left there then no new entropy
comes in, and nothing ever happens (until updatedb runs at night,

So messages may need to be softened up to be understood by all the
normal people ;-)


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