Sunday, September 11, 2011

Twitter Clients for PowerPC

There have been tons of Twitter clients over the years as Twitter has risen to be the sun we all revolve around, but those numbers have dwindled significantly as Twitter has repeatedly changed its sign-in protocols and rendered non-updated clients useless. Every time Twitter makes a change, more twitter birdies fall out of the sky.

The problem is even more pronounced for Tiger and Leopard users on PowerPC where older clients that still work on those platforms are most likely to fall by the wayside. However, I found five options that still work on PPC, four on Tiger and one that requires Leopard.

For Tiger, the first client is a menubar add-on called Twit Menulet. In fact, it even runs on Panther. It's the only shareware on this list ($8) and it works as a dropdown menu from the menubar that shows your Twitter feed along with options for individual tweets like retweet, reply, and direct message--the basics. Still, it's a unique concept that just works in a way that's simple and unobtrusive.

The second, Twidget, is similar except instead of a menulet it's a widget. This is another simple client that does the basics well, although one disappointment was that I couldn't enlarge the window to show more than a couple of tweets without having to scroll down.

If you want full-fledged Tiger clients with more than the basics, though, the only options I found are twhirl and TweetDeck, both requiring the Adobe Air runtime environment. Adobe Air stopped supporting PowerPC, but fortunately you can download the older PPC version (1.5.3) here which both twhirl and TweetDeck still run on (for now, anyway).

twhirl, like all Air applications uses a lot of RAM and can be a bit sluggish to the touch. It's a bit like using a java application but it's definitely usable. In addition to the basics it comes with additional options like search, url shortening, and picture posting. It's intuitive and, though not a cocoa app, it's not altogether unattractive. Nice dock integration, too.

TweetDeck is a bit of a RAM hog as well, though it has one innovation the others don't: multiple columns. Here's where you can really use the power of a Twitter client, by browsing through groups, filtering, searching, etc. Following dozens or hundreds of people can be overwhelming, and TweetDeck helps you manage it. It's the most popular Twitter client for a reason.

There's also Syrinx, which I could not test because it requires Leopard which I don't have, but it looks to be a solid client with a nice customizable interface. There's one other client called Bosco's Reader that runs on Tiger which I didn't install because the installer wanted an administrative password, and really, I wasn't in the mood for that. Not after I read a review of a media aggregator called Elmedia that installs a kernel extension (holy crap!). Bosco's Reader is ad supported, and they seem to be aggressive about promoting it on the web. I have to say, googling "Bosco's Reader OS X" and seeing endless results with sub-headings of "Bosco's Reader makes Twitter accessible to the rest of us. I designed it for my Mom, who constantly..." was one of the weirdest experiences of my life. But I wouldn't want that to deter you from trying it.

All that being said, if you still want to experience Twitter in your web browser, there are many fine add-ons you can install in TenFourFox. You are using TenFourFox, aren't you?

UPDATE: It looks like Tweetdeck for PowerPC bit the dust. Their homepage says the latest version requires 10.6 and a 64 bit processor. Normally my sympathies don't go out to Intel users, but a 64 bit requirement for a menial application like Tweetdeck? Harsh.

In the good news department, however, I've just discovered a command line client called TTYtter. It's by the same developer as TenFourFox, and it looks really good. Has an old IRC feel to it, so I recommend you check that out.


  1. Thanks very much for this blogpost, I've been struggling for a while without a proper client on my Powerbook G4. I have just tried Syrinx and it works fine, doesn't have real time updates but is native does what I want :)

    1. Thank you! We love both actually Twirl & Tweetdeck! Great BLOG post!

  2. Thanx Dude... i recently came back to life a pretty tangerine clamshell tiger 10.4.
    Great post, now im subscribed to your rss.

    Greetings from Mèxico


  3. Cant find anything that works for me. Tried twhirl and his horrible interface. Echofon on TenFourFox dont work and i cant figure why.

    Syrinx seems cool but dont run. Probably the version on his site is compiled for intel only and I cant find any older version.

    Im using the web version of twitter in the moment and hating.

  4. Dark Keeper,

    Try using the site if you're not already. It's much faster than the www version.

  5. I used to like Twhirl, ait was my main client from 2008 to 2011, but now I find it sluggins, slow, maybe because runs on Adobe Air. I was wondering if a version of Echofon or Twitterrific was still available for PPC. I guess I'll have to keep looking for an archived version.

    1. There are links to 10.5 compatible versions of Twitterrific and Echofon here:

  6. I used a program called Nambu for a long time (10.5.8) but it appears to have broken and won't call up any Tweets whatsoever.