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