More than 60 percent of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in Taiwan have yet to update their computer software to prevent the occurrence of a potential glitch known as the “centenary bug,” according to the results of a survey released yesterday.
The “centenary bug” could crop up mainly because, on earlier computer software, the year on the Republic of China (ROC) calendar is presented in two digits.
However, only 35.7 percent of local SMEs have completed software updates to prevent the problem, said Wang Yi-chih (王義智), an analyst at the Market Intelligence Center of the Institute for Information Industry that conducted the survey.
Furthermore, 20.3 percent of the companies polled were not even aware of the potential problem, Wang said.
With less than six months to go before the ROC enters its 100th year, the “centenary bug” has already hit state-owned Taiwan Power Co’s (Taipower, 台電) computer system.
As a result, astronomical electricity bills were sent to hundreds of Taipower customers earlier this month. In one case, a bill for NT$2,850 that was supposed to be dated the 7th month of the 99th year on the ROC calendar showed the date as the 90th month of the 9th year and the amount of the bill was about NT$70 million (US$2.2 million).
Noting that the “centenary bug” was unique to Taiwan, Wang said the government should publicize the issue more to heighten awareness among SMEs and to encourage them to test and update their computer software programs as soon as possible.
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