LaTeX issues and portability

My laptop needed repair lately so I sent it to SONY. Thus I will be without it for a couple of weeks. I had to back up everything before doing so, which was easy due to good file organization.

I used a flash drive to install portableapps.com to enhance the portable experience. However if you plan to work in solely one computer using the flash drive is of no use. It is really slow and has limited capabilities on the programs you can install and use. So I could not have LaTeX or Matlab. I know it is a long-shot to want to run these from a flash drive.

Fortunately I had a computer available, I created a new account, made anything else installed on that computer transparent to me and everything I installed transparent to everyone else. The only problem was when I was about to use LaTeX. Nothing worked and no packages were installed due to the transition from LaTeX 2e to LaTeX 3. I realized that I had to update MiKTeX as some packages, in particular expl3.sty, had become obsolete. So running the MiKTeX updater twice in admin mode is sufficient to solve the problem. you can find more detailed instructions on that in Greek though, here.
Afterwards I got another error while compiling the code:

'xdvipdfmx' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

I read that when such an error occurs it has to do with the OS. In windows all you have to do is add the path containing the xdvipdfmx to your PATH environmental variable. However this requires restart to work and until I realized that I got a bit frustrated. But now everything is fine and I can still work without the laptop for some time. The only thing missing is a microphone for Skype usage and a more effective back up strategy. When you use your personal PC, backup can be easily automated. However when you use a temporary one, the back up is between mobile devices all the time and it becomes a tricky business. But more on file organization on another post.

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