"be consistent"  
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Please note that rand does not use $_ as an input value (which your original code seems to assume). You are absolutely correct  the documentation for rand does not state that it conditions the results as integers. That is done by the int call around the results of rand. Please read the fine documentation: Returns a random fractional number greater than or equal to 0 and less than the value of EXPR. (EXPR should be positive.) If EXPR is omitted, the value 1 is used. (emphasis added)Use rand EXPR if you want a value N where 0 <= N < EXPR. If you want an integer value, apply the int function to the results, if you want a floating point number (decimal), don't apply the int function. It appears to me that the rand function meets your stated requirements exactly, if the proper parameters are passed to it. If you need to scale the value over a range MIN..MAX (possibly even negative), then you want to use something like MIN + rand(abs(MAXMIN)) (beware the boundary conditions  I may be off by one). See also:
MidLifeXis In reply to Re^3: Random generator fail
by MidLifeXis

