KeyboardLink is a great little tool for turning your standard Windows keyboard into both a program launcher and a program controller. The app is open source and uses a scant 3MB of RAM. Getting started requires configuring the activation keys, called the master keys, in the program's General features tab. People can set one or two master keys, an important feature that prevents you from accidentally launching a program. Basic capabilities, such as running the app when Windows starts, also live in the General tab.
Other tabs allow customization of your media player and major software programs such as your Web browser, Notepad, Calculator, WordPad, and others. There's also support for global hot keys, such as emptying the Recycle Bin and launching your screensaver. Unfortunately, KeyboardLink can't be customized to support other applications, and the installer is a ZIP file. Still, the program remains an easy way to set up hot keys.