With its move to use Dell PCs in favour of Macs, Henrico County is grappling with a big new problem - viruses.

The county hit global headlines recently when its $50 sell-off of 1,000 iBooks went badly wrong, with local taxpayers running each other down in their eagerness to pick up a cheap Mac.

Today, local newspaper the Times-Dispatch reveals local plans to protect its new fleet of Dell notebooks.

"Never in the history of Henrico County's laptop programme have the students' iBooks fallen victim to a fast-spreading virus or worm," the report begins.

It continues to explain the County's move to Dell notebooks running the virus-prone Windows operating system.

Lloyd Brown, director of technology for the Henrico school system said: "There are so many layers to be somewhat secure. I'm never going to tell you we're 100 per cent secure."

He added: "I think we're as ready as we're going to be, but it's going to be a learning experience for all of us," Brown said.