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One workaround I found is this: getRand[] := AbortProtect@Module[{stream, res}, stream = OpenRead["!head -c 4 /dev/random", BinaryFormat -> True]; res = BinaryRead[stream, "UnsignedInteger32"]; Close[stream]; res ] Tested on OS X and Linux.


(All observations made in version 7.) There seems to be a limitation for input even in the Front End (Notebook interface), in that if I enter more than 766 levels of nested lists I get a MaxFormatDepthExceeded expression and an error beep. The help text is: A box structure with a depth exceeding the maximum allowed depth was encountered. We can at ...


What you experience here seems to be some kind of stack limit when you have nested expressions. It doesn't seem to matter whether you nest lists or function calls. Look for instance at this example here which is nothing more than a nested call f[f[f[...f[a]]..] On the other hand, if the parser doesn't need to build up such a large stack, it seems to ...

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