Our “production” iMac hit the Shirt Pocket loading dock (aka my front step) yesterday, and I’ve been busily working on updates to netTunes and launchTunes while Bruce works on completing the next update to SuperDuper!, which looks like it will be Universal as well.†

It’s been nice to get back to Xcode after some time off (my design/marketing/documentation/support/etc duties keep me away from it more than I’d like), and it didn’t take more than a few hours to do the netTunes conversion—it’s up and running as I type, and works great.

The big challenge with netTunes was the screen “scraping”—the code has some byte-order dependencies because of pixels, and I wasn’t looking forward to re-writing the “inner loop” to handle all the various cases with Thousands and Millions of colors using both MMX and Altivec. Blegh.

Fortunately, there was an elegant solution. Since the Intel Mac is Tiger-only, I was able to make use of some the new Accelerate framework APIs to eliminate byte order dependencies and—at least under Tiger—about two pages of nasty code. Since the Intel Macs can’t run Panther, I didn’t have to change the already-working parts. The result? Both the Intel and PPC versions benefit, at least under 10.4.

It’s always a good feeling when you can delete code and leave the hardware-specific optimization up to the guys who live and breathe vector processing units, let me tell you.

Anyway, we’re working hard to get the Universal binaries out the door. Obviously, it’s important to do extensive testing using real, production hardware—and we’re doing just that.

† - Updated for the exclamation point haters. You know who you are.