These historical artifacts of programming haven't gone away, they're still here. Runtime libraries and OO languages hide a lot of the complexity from users. There's still plenty of lists, and memory management code hanging around in the C++ runtime libraries. As a Compiler developer for DSPs we still encounter a lot of these problems. Memory is sparse, and applications need to have a minimal footprint. On some processors we need to do pointer math to calculate pointers. And while we do provide C++ support and an abridged C++ runtime library, you would be amazed at the number of users who stick to assembler and C. They are insistent that C++ is slower (which it can be if you get lost in certain parts of the language) and far more memory hungry (which is certainly is if you pull in large sections of the runtime library. But it can drastically reduce time to market. DSP's are the little brothers to your desktop CPUs that most people will be programming for. Because they're smaller with more constraining power requirements the processors are still playing catch-up to your PC. Multi-core processors are in some ways still an emerging technology. And the languages and tools used on them are steps behind too. Not to mention the conditioning of a lot of DSP developers (One of our senior chip designers (just retired) always designed his chips for assembler - "no one programs a DSP in C".)..