About

Hi there!

I’m Kristof from the lovely snoring Wiesbaden, in sometimes too hot and most times to cold Germany.
I love three things: Software Development, Photography and first and foremost the brightest star in my sky: Leni.

tl;dr

The Photo Enthusiast

As I was around 14 years old, I catched from wherever a Praktika TL 1000, a fully mechanic SLR build in the former GDR. It was a revelation. I pointed my camera on everything and spend all my little money in developing the negatives and getting the prints. My first big purchase was a Nikon F301 with some additional lenses and some equipment for my own black/white darkroom at home in the bathroom, for the joy of my family.

Since then, I’m addicted to photography. I have even tried to become a photographer and started an apprenticeship in Frankfurt/Main after leaving school, but due to lack of support, I have given it up in favor of a “decent” profession, as my father would say ;)

Today a have a lot of equipment, knowing that a good picture is done by the photographer and not by the camera, but it’s part of the fun, carrying 3 ore more kilos around my shoulder, to grab the right lens for the right shot.

Find some of my photographs on 500pxhttps://500px.com/p/kikon

The Developer

I’m a creative person and most people are shaking their heads in disbelief, when I’m telling them, that IT has a lot to do with creativity and not with math.

While learning a lot of stuff about business as an industrial clerk trainee at the German headquarter of Prime Computer around 1990 (the decent profession), there was a guy in the warehouse, Colin Urquhart, who was working with a new type of computer, a x68 machine from IBM and he taught me something about it and ignited my fascination about the possibilities of a computer.

A little later I got in touch with a i386DX computer from Escom and started to fiddle around on how to achieve this or that under MS-DOS, installing Windows 3.x from a dozen of 3.5 discs, connecting via a 14.4k modem to the FidoNet (greets to all the guys from the 45er Infosystems) and talk shop with my fellow students at the University of Applied Aciences, Wiesbaden, department of economics.

One of our teachers gave me a copy of Microsoft Access 1.1 and I started to explore the possibilities of this new relational database system. A short time later, our professor for computer science wanted to switch teaching DBase towards Access and so I became his assistant and held some class hours, where one of my students, having a little company on selling hardware, was asking me someday, if I was interested building Access-based software for his clients. I said yes. My starting point into a career as a freelance software developer.

Years later, after dozens of clients, authoring a book about Access, coming and going technologies, building (and leaving) my own company Division by Zero with my good friend Marcus Michaels, I’m now Head of Software Development at Allgeier Experts SE (formerly Goetzfried AG), developing internal software by using almost the complete Microsoft technology stack … and my creativity is demanded day by day.

I’m still first and foremost fascinated by the technology on building software, in particular in creating pleasing, but functional UI’s, a user wants to works with, even if I spend a large part of my daily working time on management stuff. So it is not surprising that I sit at my laptop in my spare time, working on my private projects or trying out new technologies. I made by hobby a profession…

If you want to talk about the old, recent or new times in IT, you can find me at:

Xing
https://www.xing.com/profile/Kristof_Zerbe

LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristof-zerbe-91012510/

GitHub
https://github.com/kristofzerbe

The Tool Guy

My colleagues always start to giggle, when I’m telling them that I’ve found a new tool, which is doing this or that. I’m the Tool Guy. I love to look for those little helpers, which saves my time. Every machine, I work with, has a folder called TOOLS on the primary disc, with dozens of these little programs and the first thing I do, on setting up a new machine, is to install the foundation of my indespensable tools:

KeePass
The one and only password store

Cropper
Individual screenshots with ease

PaintDotNet
The bitmap imaging programm for in between

Papercut
Tiny SMTP trap for debugging mail sending

Process Explorer
The one and only task manager

Autoruns
Know whats happening on startup

PNGGauntlet
No PNG leaves my machine without compressing

JPEGMini
… and so do JPG’s

FileZilla
FTP’ing since 2007

SourceTree
Git management at it’s best for the window guys

SyncBackPro
Automating almost all file related stuff

Visual Studio Code
Best IDE for almost everything

VeryCrypt
Successor of TrueCrypt for creating encrypted containers

7Zip
File packing the Open Source way

DeepL
Best translator ever seen

USBDLM
Stop looking, start knowing USB Drive Letters

Sizer 4.0
Predefined resizing windows

FileMenu Tools
Helper for the Windows Explorer context menu