Why QWERTY? Why indeed.
This keyboard layout was designed in 1874 by Christopher Scholes. An alphabetical layout caused the machine's levers to jam, so he positioned the most frequently used letters as far apart as possible. To assist salesmen to demonstrate, Scholes craftily arranged all of the letters needed for the word "typewriter" to be in the top row.
I think this is an awful input device. I have been using it for many years and learned to touch type when I was completing a Masters dissertation. Time and again I watch users hunting and pecking their way across the keyboard. Imagine the time wasted in this painful process.
This article on Slashdot refers to a Swedish study that shows that the keyboard is a bacteria farm. It is inhabited by 33000 bacteria per square centimetre, compared to 130 on a toilet seat.
Covering a keyboard makes it easier to clean, important in these times of super bugs like MRSA. But what about ridding ourselves of it altogether? It's time for FHIT to look at other methods of data input.