Physical button to launch a PC application?

So for an upcoming project I need to make a physical button that when pressed launches an application on my PC. I'm going to need to make quite a few of these, each to launch a different app. Ideally it would not be a keystroke from a keyboard, I saw tutorials on dismembering a keyboard and registering a button press to open an app, but I don't want any interferences so I'm looking to avoid that if I can. I'm going for the most cost effective design, not looking to spend much if it can be helped. Any resources or tips would be much appreciated! Thanks guys!

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Atul0093 years ago
hoping u know to program
u can input base 2 with parallel port the library used for it should be inpout32
make a program without a window that read the port input and launch application when value change from 0 to 1.
Hey, Parallel ports, I remember them. Not seen one on a PC for years.
yeah they are out dated but with a usb to lpt connector things can be very easy
Arduino Leonardo. Job done.
You could use the keyboard hack but have the program launch with a combination of keys. So your single button press triggers the key combo.
have you looked into shrimpkey? its an open source makey makey?