I find social media a very polarising medium. On one hand, its biggest strength is that it can connect you with other people over a shared interest that you may have and yet on the other hand I feel it is responsible for much of the division we have in the World today through the endless adverts, fake stories and lies that appear on our feeds which ultimately influence others.
I personally got rid of my personal Facebook account a while back as I was tired of seeing the same people posting the same things ad nauseam encompassing all manner of political views, fake news, adverts, selfies and attention seeking meltdowns. Then there was the lack of privacy, as Facebook appears to match up all your deleted WhatsApp contacts from people you have ever text messaged to suggest people you may know and your Internet browsing history to suddenly display adverts in your news feed.
Being conscious of not wanting to cut out what I enjoyed the most about social media and wanting to use it purely related to my hobby of the Amiga and retrogaming in general, I decided to give Twitter a go about 12 months ago and found it a much a better experience, with much more focused control on what I was seeing on my news feed.
Whilst most people tend to access Twitter on their phones, it is also possible to use your modern-day Amiga to access the Twitter platform either via Odyssey Browser, which on Amiga OS4 is better rendered on-screen by spoofing as an iPad in the preferences setting and accessing the mobile version of the website.
The full website is a little sluggish on the AmigaOS 4 version of Odyssey simply down to how the images are rendered on-screen. However this is no surprise really as the AmigaOS 4 version of Odyssey is out of date in comparison to MorphOS and this becomes even more apparent with each passing day.
MorphOS users who are using Odyssey version 1.25 can access the main Twitter site without the need for spoofing.
Aside from the website version, there is also the option to access Twitter via an unofficial dedicated app for on both AmigaOS and MorphOS.
TwittAmiga currently at version 4.3, can either be downloaded from OS4 Depot or Morphos-Storage websites and for the purposes of this blog post the features contained within TwittAmiga will apply for both AmigaOS and MorphOS systems.
The downloaded Lha file contains both set of machine executables for you to unpack from your Ram disk.
When you first open up TwittAmiga, it will ask you to put in your Twitter username and password.
What this will do is create a keys.dat file which is kept in the same folder as the Twitter executable to save you from having to type in the same information again. You also have the option to store multiple Twitter accounts.
The app itself is pretty basic looking relying on the Magic User Interface (MUI) to display other people’s tweets as they would normally do on your Twitter feed.
The first thing that you will notice is that you can’t do the endless scroll that you would normally undertake on a website or mobile phone/tablet. Here you are limited to about 5-6 posts and to move to any other ones that you would like to look at, you will need to press the next button. I think people nowadays are pretty used to constantly scrolling down in order to get more information that anything else is not pretty much an inconvenience.
At least the highlighted links work well, opening up the relevant item in Odyssey, although you will need to make sure that Open URL is configured correctly on your machines.
On MorphOS, my settings were already set up.
However on AmigaOS, I did find I had to adjust my Open URL settings a little, to resemble the above.
Pictures which are displayed on a person’s Twitter feed can also be viewed in a separate window.
Within a tweet itself you have the option to either retweet the tweet.
You can also unfollow a user if you find yourself no longer interested in what they have to post. Sadly you do not have the option to block or mute a Twitter user from within the app.
The third small icon shows more info about a particular user and then allows you to see all their tweets.
You can also look at a specific user’s Twitter feed by putting in their username and clicking on the user tab.
In terms of other options available to you, you have the option to post a Tweet which you can see above. Sadly you do not appear to have the option to attach any photos to your tweet, however you will be able to any required hash tag so that it appears on a specific twitter feed, and you can also post links to websites if needed or re-tweet the tweet on to someone else’s Twitter feed.
I posted a test tweet with a link to my website using TwittAmiga and went to see how this would display on another platform. Suffice to say this worked correctly and that it displayed also that I posted this via TwittAmiga
Whenever you are posting a tweet or re-tweeting anything you are of course limited by a certain number of characters. Handily there is a bar on the bottom right of the app which indicates how much character space is left available. To the left is a status bar which notifies you when a feed is loading or when a tweet has been posted.
One thing that struck me whilst using this program was that there was no option not to delete a tweet you had just posted or delete any tweet in general from your feed. Certainly if your tweets have the propensity to offend or you are in a position where your tweets may start World War 3, you may want to think twice about using TwittAmiga as your sole access to Twitter.
Aside from its obvious limitations, TwittAmiga works quite well although compared to a proper dedicated mobile app, it does look extremely dated. It would be nice to see this app make use of another GUI in order to improve its existing look and perhaps add the extra features like being able to delete a tweet. As it stands this app is a welcome addition to both MorphOS and AmigaOS systems especially when you don’t always want to load up the Odyssey browser and have this running in the background whilst you attend to other tasks.
Until next time have fun with your Amigas!