In the beginning, I completely ignored Twitter. Recently, I started following a few Twitter feeds (from OR people) in Google Reader, mainly because they tended to post links to things I actually found interesting (i.e., not what the tweeter had for lunch, nor where said lunch occurred). Finally, I bit the bullet and opened a Twitter account, largely so that I could respond to the occasional provocative tweet. (I think I'm up to three tweets so far, which should hold me for a while.)
The next step was to look for an extension to either Thunderbird or Firefox (both of which I keep open when being abused by a computer), so that I could tweet, retweet or ___ (is there a term for responding to a tweet? tweeply?) easily. Of course, I could just open Twitter in a Firefox tab, but that would be too low tech, right? I found one Tbird extension, but it was an alpha version. I found several promising looking Firefox extensions, of which the most complete and polished seemed to be Echofon. So yesterday I installed in on my office PC (Linux Mint Isadora), where it worked well, and this morning I installed it on my home PC (Win XP), where it also worked well.
Unfortunately, in between I installed it on my laptop (also Mint Isadora), where it proceeded to spew authentication errors in an alarmingly OCD way. In fact, short of killing Firefox from a terminal, the only way I could stop the error messages (which popped up an average of about two seconds apart) was to turn off my WiFi connection. (I couldn't log out of Twitter, nor exit Firefox gracefully, because the incessant error dialogs were modal.)
Fortunately, I could diff my settings between the laptop and the (working) office PC. It turns out there was a conflict with another Firefox extension, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's HTTPS-Everywhere. This extension automatically converts insecure HTTP connections to many sites to secure HTTPS connections. I installed it on my laptop (which likes to go out for a cup of coffee pretty often) but not my office PC (which hides behind a firewall) (although I may eventually install it there as well). It works fine with Twitter when I surf to my Twitter account, but apparently it does not get along at all well with Echofon. Fortunately, HTTPS-Everywhere allows you to configure which sites it will try to seduce into secure connections; by deselecting Twitter.com, I got Echofon to work properly (if perhaps not entirely securely).