If last spring's notorious Michelangelo virus spawned powerful antivirus software, it also inspired a line of hardware that physically bars the spread of data-garbling germs. Corporate Management Group (512-329-8220), based in Austin, Tex., a distributor of devices to prevent unauthorized use, has added an assortment of low-priced (from $30 to $90) mechanical contrivances that, among other measures, seal the slots of computers' floppy drives and CD-ROMs -- apertures through which electronic mayhem may be introduced.

One such device permanently replaces the standard bezel around an office workstation's floppy-disk drive. Another padlocks a notebook or laptop, making its hard drive inaccessible except by sledgehammer. Anyone really concerned with contamination can attach motion detectors to computers. When disturbed, they sound a piercing alarm that, if nothing else, will keep your security guard from dozing.

-- Robert A. Mamis