While getting my mail today, after I answered a couple of his questions about Windows 7, one of the elderly men in my complex asked me if software engineers these days still knew how to write programs in assembly language. I said that probably anyone with a four-year degree would, and most people with a two-year degree or none at all probably would have no experience with it, and that I hadn't used it since college. He chuckled and said that he would hope not, and that he still remembers his nightmare experiences debugging assembly code that someone else had written for him in the 80s.
This shocked me a little. I could hardly believe that I had just had a short conversation about assembly debugging with an elderly man I've known for more than two years, and I had no idea that he had experience with such things. I think I could have only been more surprised if he asked me if I had opted in for the Starcraft II beta.
(Of course, that's not entirely true. I'd have been even more surprised if he immediately transformed into a thirty-foot-tall robot in the form of a Catholic schoolgirl holding two machine guns.)