The first very own PC I ever bought was a 486 clone back in the beginning of the 1990's. With only 4 MB RAM it was able to run MS-DOS 5 and Windows 3.1. Those were the days!
I began to dream of 486 PC again. The problem is my original 486 is dead and gone. Now what? The answer is Raspberry Pi with rpix86 -emulator.
One of my Raspberry Pis only has 256 MB RAM. Now there we have suitable hardware for running Raspbian Linux (in console mode) and rpix86 -emulator on top. Off I went and downloaded Raspbian, burned it on an SD card and booted my Raspi.
The most entertaining part was downloading and installing of rpix86 -emulator.
First off I downloaded rpix86 with wget:
After that zip-package was extracted:
Then I typed in the following command which started ripix86-emulator:
Rpix86 suggested it needed to download 4DOS.COM. Yes sir! Go ahead! After that I got DOS 5 running in front of me! Thank you Patrick Aalto!
I'm planning on running Word 5.5 for DOS on top of Raspbian and rpix86. Microsoft has made Word 5.5 for DOS publicly accessible for anyone. Besides it's free software (well, free of charge only...). There is the RTF-option when saving files in Word 5.5 for DOS. So it's easy to export text files and send them forward (with the help from Raspbian).
No heat, no fans!
Nowadays my oldest Raspi is also my 486 PC!