I think I'm the same way. It looks very pretty. But what exactly does it do? Does it replace the 32 KB expansion board? Or is it used in concert with it? Are there code samples around that demonstrate how an assembly language programmer might do something with it? Do any parts of the memory persist upon loss of power? etc.
AMS replaces the 32k board. It gives you expanded memory size in a standard bank-switch method documented in this website:
"SuperAMS (Super Asgard Memory System, a.k.a. SAMS card) was one of the first memory expansion card designed for the TI-99/4A. It was designed around 1993 by Asgard Inc, under the managment of Jim Krych. Its elegant simplicity is due to the fact that it's build around the 74LS612 memory mapper, once commonly used in PCs and in Nintendo game cartridges. For some reason, the card never got the popularity that it deserved: I was told that only about 100 were produced. Originally, this may have been due to the high cost of SRAM chips: the card was designed to accomodate upto 1 megabyte, which was quite expensive in the early nineties. Nowadays, the problem is rather with the 74LS612 that became extremely hard to find: most PCs now emulate it in a VLSI chip."
Basically we can shoehorn in a crapton of memory this way. There are two flaws with this board standard..
1: nobody's got them so almost nobody writes programs for them. (soon to be resolved for pbox owners but still the people with just a console are sOL)
2: other memory expansion is incompatible, so it doesn't work with any programs written for say the myarc 128/512k cards or the foundation cards or the corcomp cards.. This is really a limited issue since the only real useful thing written for those cards is XBII from Myarc. Some people enjoy using the ramdisk functionality of those cards but since they were volatile (no power = empty ram) they had limited usefulness for anything but temporary storage.
SAMS is also volatile memory, there's no battery backup or nvram.. and it is not a ramdisk though with software you can have some ramdisk"like" functionality (see below)
Supported software from that page:
A complete development system (assembler, linker, etc) was released by R.A. Green of RAG Software, that lets you write assembly programs in a transparent manner, i.e. without having to worry about page switching.
A variant of C99 was designed by Joe Delekto to take advantage of the SuperAMS card.
Brad Snyder created "XBpacker", an utility that allows to store several Extended Basic programs in the SuperAMS card, or even one huge XB program written in a modular fashion.