If i had to waive my hands furiously in the air - since 'cd' is a built in shell command, perhaps its invocation causes the user's shell .rc / aliases file to be loaded thereby picking up a full PATH with includes the directory containing pdflatex. ?
Buy that? :- )
why I'm wondering:
- "pdflatex" in the preferences does not work, but
- "cd spec.toolbox; pdflatex" does.
Why does Eclpise find my pdflatex in the second case, but not in the first one.