Günter Born holds an engineering degree in physics and has studied information science and electrical engineering. He began work as a software developer and project engineer in 1979 in the German spacecraft and chemical industries. His work involved managing software development groups and consulting on several international projects with Japan, Thailand, and Europe. Since 1993, he has worked as an independent writer and translator.
Born began working with computers as a student, when one of his professors encouraged him to work through a series of equations for mechanical systems. Too poor to buy a pocket calculator and too lazy to do the calculations by hand, he turned to an IBM 370 computer, which had to be fed with punched cards. An incorrect FORTRAN statement resulted in a long listing and wasted time, but after he finally got the program running it saved him a lot of time and provided a lot of free paper, which he used for classroom notes.
Later, he programmed Digital Equipment PDP 11 and VAX computers and Intel microprocessors in FORTRAN, PL/M, and assembly language. In 1983 he joined a project that used one of the first IBM PC/XT computers shipped to Europe.
Born's publishing career started inauspiciously. In 1987, he failed to publish an article about an 8085/Z80 dissembler implemented in BASIC because no one wanted to read about BASIC. So he decided to learn Pascal. He borrowed an old IBM PC/XT with a Borland Pascal compiler, spent a weekend porting his disassembler to Pascal, replaced the BASIC listings with Pascal source code, and succeeded in getting his article published in a computer magazine. Born wrote his first book to earn the money to buy a PC. (However, the royalties barely covered the cost of the machine.)
Born has since published many articles and over 90 books and CD titles, from computer books for children to books about applications to high-end programming titles. His book The File Formats Handbook became a standard in the programming community. He is also the author of Inside the Registry for Microsoft Windows 95 and Inside the Microsoft Windows 98 Registry. Born contributed to the Microsoft Windows 98 Resource Kit and has authored, translated, and acted as technical editor on several books published by Microsoft Press Germany.