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AIM Greengage 16386

The following article was published in the October 1992 edition of Personal Computer World. I don't know whether the product it describes was ever sold; I can certainly find no references to it online.

Advanced Innovative Marketing apparently traded from March 1992 to around 2000.

AIM to upgrade your Amstrad 1640

All those Amstrad 1640 users out there must be envious of the high-powered applications being used by up to date computer owners. A new product from Advanced Innovative Marketing (AIM) will upgrade your Amstrad dinosaur to a 386SX running at 20MHz, for as little as £295.

The Greengage 16386 product beats others of its ilk, says AIM, because it replaces the motherboard rather than acting as a piggyback processor. This means it maintains the power connections and the ports in the right places, in addition to providing AT connections for PC peripherals.

Plugging in the board gives you an Intel 80386SX running at 20MHz; 1Mb RAM as standard, expandable to 5Mb; a built-in IDE interface; and EGA graphics, plus one 8-bit and two 16-bit expansion slots. Also included are built-in serial and parallel ports, and industry standard mouse and keyboard ports.

This is fine, but you have to pay for more memory if you want to run Windows properly; otherwise, it will work slower than the Northern Line in rush hour. The EGA graphics are also a problem. Although you can run EGA applications in DOS and Windows, it does a lot of snazzy things almost pointless by today's standards, such as art packages and presentation graphics software. Even so, for a cheap upgrade it could be worth it if you're looking to use only certain applications effectively.

Chris Haddock, Sales Technician, outlined the market: 'Customers for this product will range from the home user to the business user. An Amstrad 1640 often won't be the only machine used in a business, but a secretary who has one might need it replacing with something more powerful,' he said.

Make sure you know what you're doing before you buy it though, as it's a self-fitting kit. You must disconnect the original motherboard from the 1640 before unscrewing it. Two wires from the keyboard port must be snipped, or you can desolder them if you want to be flash.

A 1Mb version of the Greengage 16386 will cost you £365, or £295 if you give the company your old motherboard. A 5Mb version (more than adequate for Windows as far as memory is concerned) will set you back £493, or £423 trade-in. The company uses some ROM components from the old motherboards it gets back, but stresses that all the components on the Greengage 16386 are new.

Danny Bradbury

John Elliott 12 June 2019