I just realized one of the reasons I like these Hotkey utilities so much!! They remind me of those TSR programs in Dos. With Dos you could only run one program at a time. One way to have small utilities available without quiting your application was to code them as TSRs or Terminate and Stay Resident. You hit a hotkey and the TSR screen would pop up in front of the app you were using. You did whatever the utility did, then it popped back down and you resumed using the main application.
I wrote a couple of small ones myself in assembler just to learn how to do it. I think one was an ASCII chart.. that loaded and saved its data to a file instead of generating it. Just to learn how to do file i/o without trashing the system. Back then PC Magazine had assembler TSR source code for a utility in just about every issue. There was one esp. good one that monitored keyboard, video mode change, file i/o, timer interrupt, as well as the famous "InDos Flag." Following the author's suggestion I stripped out the guts and used the monitoring framework as the template for my TSRs.
Oh well, there wasn't that much exotic programming you could do on an XT clone with 640K and a 12" amber monitor. It was kind of a challenge.
The other thing I missed were the old bootable Dos diskette utilities. Now I find out it isn't difficult to make bootable USB key drives.. so the more stuff changes....
I'm still waiting for my 8 GB USB key to arrive in the mail.