Can you post a sample of the "grittiness" you're referring to? I'm not quite sure what you're referring to.
The grittiness is caused by pixelization/blocking artifacts. Here's an example based on my 'torture' testtarget:
Aliasing/moiré is visible with downsampled images, it is just a matter of luck whether the image detail can mask it:
The aliasing is there, especially between 50% and 100%, but it's a trade-off between aliasing and sharpness, so I biased the parameters more toward sharpness than aliasing suppression. Perhaps I should add a sharpness or aliasing prevention control.
In general I think it's better to do the downsizing properly (i.e. after removing high spatial frequency content with a filter), and add an option for sharpening the result.
To resolve your startup problem, you may need to download and reinstall the MS Jet database engine. Try this link:
I looked at that, but it seems to address a Windows XP problem, I'm not going to try that on my Vista Ultimate 64-bit version unless there's no other way. The missing DLL seems to be a part of Visual Studio 6 and Office 2003. I'm not sure how that will play out with newer computer systems (e.g. Win 7 and Office 2007/2010), perhaps there is an alternative DLL that can be invoked? Just thinking aloud, to future proof your application. Thanks for your suggestions anyway.
Cheers, and a happy new year,