Thor Olson

Thor Olson brings more than 40 years of experience in systems programming, engineering, and technology leadership to his role as president of Terabase Corporation.

Before founding Terabase, Thor was President of Ziff Information Services (ZIS) and Chief Information Officer (CIO) of its parent, Ziff Communications. At that time, Ziff Communications was the largest privately owned publishing company in the United States, and publisher of such noted magazines as PC Magazine, MACUser, and Computer Shopper.  Mr. Olson was responsible for corporate MIS and all of the company's long lines and data communications.  Mr Olson standardized Ziff's systems and led a number of technical and business initiatives that resulted in considerable improvements in efficiency and profitability.

At ZIS, Mr. Olson built a highly regarded development solution for electronic publishers, DVMS. Under his direction the unit hosted or developed database applications for industry leaders including the Federal Election Commission, Dun & Bradstreet, Information Access Company, SEC Online, and Dow Jones & Company, publisher of The Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Olson created some of the earliest large databases for publishing, including products that indexed information at unusually high speeds for both loading and querying. Over time, his work became the basis for "Haystack," a widely used tool offering search-and-retrieval capabilities for U.S. government engineering and technical information.  Haystack® was created at Strategic Information, a division of Ziff Communications, and later sold to Information Handling Services, its present owner.

Mr. Olson began his career at the computer center of the College of the Holy Cross, becoming Associate Director in 1973. After becoming the center's Director in 1975, he introduced new computer platforms, academic time-sharing, and installed the college's first administrative terminal system. He supervised the center's testing of pre-release versions of Digital's VAX 11/780 system and, as part of that effort, ported several million lines of IBM FORTRAN and Assembler code to the VAX environment, including well-known academic packages such as SPSS, BMD and BMDP, TSP, and Gauss77.
Updated September, 2010
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