I have a recurring dream: I’m in front of an “all-in-one” computer, as my old Commodore C128. From this computer, which shows graphics capabilities limited in terms of available pixels but very advanced in terms of color depth, I retrieve images and long-forgotten old software listings.

I feel like I’m working with a cross between a C128 and an Amiga 500 (which I never actually owned) but the software hidden inside the drives is science-fiction stuff: I was the one who wrote it, only in a different timeline.

I spend hours in front of the keyboard, reconstructing fragments of programs lost for years, coming at the same time from a past where micro-computing was in its early days and an advanced future. The code is right before my eyes: I see it, I read it, I can almost “touch” it … but when I wake up I can’t remember it, nor understand what it did in detail.

At the same time, I experience mixed feelings: the nostalgia for the good old days and the stress for not being able to reach what is right before my eyes, under my fingers resting on the keyboard.

Eventually, I wake up. The tension of the dream was too strong for letting me sleep. What was that picture on the screen? What did that software do?

I just have to go back to sleep, hope that the dream will start again, and hope, when I wake up, to remember something. But … was it really a dream?


If you exclude the last sentence, freely inspired by some of H.P. Lovecraft’s novels, everything you read in this article is true. Clearly, I do not believe to live in-between two (or more) parallel universes, but I did experience that series of recurring dreams, even though they now date back to the Summer of 2018. Probably, at that time, the will to go back to my beloved 8-bit systems was really strong; probably, those dreams ceased because my thirst has been, at least partially, quenched. The reason why I decided to write this article and finally bring those dreams out in the daylight is that I could not think of a better way to celebrate my 350th article here on the blog. With this in mind, I would like to thank:

  • Marco, for being there when I needed him for my projects and for providing the pictures for this article (the C128 you see is mine, the visionary part is his);
  • Carlos Zubieta and his team for coding that awesome Mazinga Z videogame;
  • Davide, for always being a fresh source of information about computer systems and stuff, besides being my additional coder;
  • Stefano (R.I.P. my friend) and his brother Andrea for becoming my “second family”;
  • my friends at Bitplane and those at RetroMagazine World for reshaping my world at 8 and 16-bit;
  • my Twitter friends Stefan Vogt, Electron_Greg, and 0xCODE for their beautiful and inspiring works;
  • Jerome at Boing Attitude for his invaluable friendship and support;
  • all my testers, composers and proofreaders for the invaluable help they provided me while developing my own games;
  • the one-man-army at RETREAM for the incredible dedication he puts in each and everything;
  • my personal team of The Division Agents for always being there when I needed to relax by raiding New York City or Washington, D.C.;
  • my wife and son for always standing by my side;
  • and above all, my good friend Tony for believing in me and for inviting me to write on this blog, many years ago. I believe not even he would have thought, back then, that I could achieve this goal. I owe you, mate!

I apologize if I forgot someone, but rest assured that you do have a special place in my heart!

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