Charles Petzold

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Charles Petzold

Charles Petzold (born February 2, 1953 in New Brunswick , New Jersey , USA ) is an American programmer and author of numerous books on various topics of programming under Microsoft Windows .


In 1975 Petzold received a Master of Science degree in mathematics from the Stevens Institute of Technology .

From 1977 he was interested in electronic music and built his own musical instruments from CMOS electronic components. In 1979 he finally began to develop a digital synthesizer based on the Zilog Z80 microprocessor . The knowledge he gained in digital technology and assembly language laid the foundation for his book Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software .

After buying an IBM personal computer for $ 5,000 in 1984 , he decided to write articles for PC Magazine to compensate for the high cost of the computer. The first article dealt with the command interpreter of the MS-DOS operating system and was paid for at $ 800.

A little later, PC Magazine asked its New York authors to take part in a review of the printers available on the market in 1984 . Petzold showed the editors a few small programs he had written on the subject. The response to his collaboration was so good that he was soon able to write professional articles and develop aid programs full-time.

From December 1986 he also wrote instructions for creating a Windows program for the newly founded Microsoft Systems Journal , which is considered the first specialist article on Windows programming at all. In the presence of Microsoft employees, Petzold mentioned several times that the topic had given him a lot of pleasure. In January 1987 he received his contract for the book Programming Windows , in the German translation Windows programming, from Microsoft Press . It was published in 1988 and has since been considered the standard work on the Windows programming interface; in specialist circles it is simply referred to as the Petzold .


  • Programming Windows (Microsoft Press, 1988)
  • Portions of the MS-DOS Encyclopedia (Microsoft Press, 1988)
  • Programming the OS / 2 Presentation Manager (Microsoft Press, 1989)
  • Parts of the book Extending DOS (Addison-Wesley, 1990)
  • Programming Windows: The Microsoft Guide to Writing Applications for Windows 3 (2nd edition, Microsoft Press, 1990)
  • Programming Windows: The Microsoft Guide to Writing Applications for Windows 3.1 (3rd edition, Microsoft Press, 1992)
  • OS / 2 Presentation Manager Programming (Ziff-Davis Press, 1994)
  • Programming Windows 95 (4th edition, Microsoft Press, 1996)
  • Programming Windows (5th edition, Microsoft Press, 1998)
  • Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software (Microsoft Press, 1999)
  • Programming Microsoft Windows with C # (Microsoft Press, 2001)
  • Programming Microsoft Windows with Microsoft Visual Basic .NET (Microsoft Press, 2002)
  • Programming in the Key of C # (Microsoft Press, 2003)
  • Programming Microsoft Windows Forms (Microsoft Press, 2005)
  • Applications = Code + Markup: A Guide to the Microsoft Windows Presentation Foundation (Microsoft Press, 2006)
  • 3D Programming for Windows - Three-Dimensional Graphics Programming for the Windows Presentation Foundation (Microsoft Press, 2007)
  • The Annotated Turing: A Guided Tour through Alan Turing's Historic Paper on Computability and the Turing Machine (Wiley, 2008)
  • Programming Windows Phone 7 - Microsoft Silverlight Edition (Microsoft Press, 2011)
  • Programming Windows Phone 7 - Microsoft XNA Framework Edition (Microsoft Press, 2011)
  • Programming Windows, Sixth Edition - Writing Windows 8 Apps with C # and XAML (Microsoft Press, 2013)

He has also been and still is a guest author for various specialist journals, including PC Magazine and MSDN Magazine .


  • Petzold has the Microsoft Windows logo as a tattoo on his right upper arm.
  • He was named Most Valuable Professional by Microsoft and one of seven "Windows Pioneers".
  • In a programming competition under the motto "Storm the Gates" during a press event for the introduction of QuickBASIC 2.0 in 1986 , Petzold took second place behind Bill Gates . The task was a multitasking - Simulation under MS-DOS . Gates used QuickBASIC 2.0, while the other participants were free to choose their programming language. Gates won because QuickBASIC contained a graphics library and was therefore superior to the Microsoft C used by Petzold for the task at hand.

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e Charles Petzold: The Long (Essay) Version . Retrieved August 6, 2008.
  2. ^ Charles Petzold: A Step-by-Step Guide to Building Your First Windows Application . In: Microsoft Systems Journal . tape 1 , no. 2 . Microsoft Press, December 1986.