Those of us who still run Tweetbot 1.6.2 on an OS X version older than 10.10, are not necessarily very happy these days. Tweetbot is available only from the Mac App Store, the present version of Tweetbot (version 2) does not run on old OS X versions, and a few days ago Apple did something that broke the version of Tweetbot (that is, 1.6.2) that does work on old versions of OS X. It was something about a certificate that expired on November 11.
While downloading the latest compatible version (i.e., 1.6.2) from the Purchased tab in App Store does work, the download will still not run on OS X 10.8.5, at least not on any of the Macs that my wife and I have have access to. The application quits after a second or so. The official solution is to update to OS X 10.10 or newer, but for various reasons my wife and I cannot do that at present.
The following works on our Macs, though. If you plan to do the same thing because you saw me doing it, you are doing it at your own risk, though I doubt anything really bad will happen, because it’s only a matter of changing the date for a few seconds:
First I found a backup of Tweetbot on my backup drive (Time Machine in my case). Importantly, this was a backup from before 11 November 2015. I then copied Tweetbot from the backup drive and onto my Macintosh HD. I chose to copy it to a folder called ‘test’ for safekeeping there, so I won’t have to copy it from the backup drive every time something goes bad.
(On one of the Macs I didn’t have to copy it from the backup, instead I copied it from the Applications folder on the Mac itself. This worked because Tweetbot had not been restarted after November 11, so the local copy was not broken yet.)
Next, I copied the backuped version of Tweetbot into the Applications folder, where the application is supposed to be (the Mac asked for my admin password). The trick now is to launch Tweetbot while the Mac thinks that it is not yet 11 November 2015. The date can be set manually in the system preferences; but don’t set the date too early, because the trick won’t work then. I ended up setting the date to, well, 10 November 2015.
Launch Tweetbot. Be prepared that it may complain about ‘Timestamp out of bounds’, or even refuse to sign in to Twitter. When I switched the Mac back to today’s date and time, though, Tweetbot was happy.
To make this process faster, I don’t launch Tweetbot the normal way anymore. Instead I run this shell script using sudo. If I forget to use sudo, Tweetbot will break again because the date won’t be set, that’s why I included those first lines:
if [ "$USER" != "root" ] ; then
ntpdate -u time.euro.apple.com || date $time
The script takes note of the present date and time, then sets the date to November 10 at 11:11, launches Tweetbot, waits for five seconds, and finally consults Apple’s European NTP server (since I live in Norway) to set the correct date and time again. If the last step fails, the script should set the date, hour and minute to where it was five seconds ago, but it won’t be quite accute, since the seconds will be set to zero.
The delay of 5 seconds doesn’t give my Tweetbot installation the time to even complain. The delay may have to be adjusted, though, if it is too short for Tweetbot to launch properly on your Mac. If this happens, the application will most probably break again, and will have to be copied to the Applications folder once more. That is a good reason to keep a backup of Tweetbot elsewhere on the internal drive, as I did in the ‘test’ folder above.
This is a quick and dirty trick, and the Macintosh system time may run a few seconds late afterwards, depending on how the date is set the second time. Also, the shift to an incorrect date and time, even though it’s only for a few seconds, may interfere with other applications running on the Mac. For instance, an e-mail that arrives just when the time is wrong, may get a wrong timestamp. So as stated above, do this at your own risk, and especially if you don’t know already how to create and run a shell script.
(Quick guide for the desperate: Copy the few lines of code, start the Terminal, type ‘nano tweetbotscript’ without the quotes and press the return key. Paste the code. Press ctrl-O (that is, the letter O) and the return key to save the script. Press ctrl-X to exit nano. Type ‘chmod u+x tweetbotscript’ and press the return key. Type ‘sudo ./tweetbotscript’ and hit the return key. Type your password when queried. I saved my script in the ~/bin folder instead, and so the details here are a little different. The quick guide for the desperate presupposes that you have already enabled the root user.)
I usually prefer to purchase my applications from the developer, not from the Mac App Store. What Glenn Fleishman at Macworld calls the ‘MAS extinction’, has given me another reason to do so, in addition to considerations like earlier updates and more money for the developer. Unfortunately, this specific application can only be bought on the Mac App Store.