Cingular 3G Wireless issue (and solution)

So, there you are, happy with your Cingular 3G Wireless service, using the Cingular Communications manager with you Sierra Wireless AirCard 875 PC Card and then it happens.  You boot up like you normally do, and your greeted with:

Initial Error message

“Warning! There are duplicate profiles contained in this file.  All duplicate profiles wil be imported with (n) appended to the profile name, where n is the number of items with the same name.  Do you still want to continue with this operation?”

So, your not paniced, everything is fine.  Just click “Yes” and be on your way.

Maybe this is an issue you have?  If so, you are probably not interested with a long protracted story.  So, I’m going to cut to the solution, and then explain everything I tried and the troubles I went through.


Use Sierra Wireless’s 3G Watcher instead of Cingular’s Communications Manager.  You can download it from:

Click on your card, in my case the AirCard 875 PC Card.

At the  bottom, there is the “Software Downloads” section.  Step 1 is to select your carrier.  For me, Cingular. 

Step 2 is to select language (English)

Step 3 is to Select Platform (Notebook)

Click “Next>”

The top section is the firmware update.  You do not want this.  You want the link at the bottom for the Sierra Wireless Watcher Software.

Click “here”.  Then click “Download Now” at the top.


And now you have the Sierra 3G Watcher running


Sierra Wireless 3G Watcher


Now just uninstall Cingular Communication Manager, and you should be on your way!

On with the story

So, it took me a while to realize I had a “problem”, sure I could not connect, but hey, I used to be in tech support, I could figure this out.

After selecting “Yes”, I get presented with the main screen:

Main Screen with No Default profile

Notice it says “No default profile selected.”

Not  problem, I’ll just go into profiles and make one of them default.  Here is my list of profiles:

Profiles Screen

Notice something weird.  There are no profiles.  One moment I have a message about duplicates, next moment I don’t have any.  (There aren’t any hidden.  See, no plus boxes next to GSM or Wi-Fi.)

Not a problem, really, I’ll “Add” a profile.

I go through the wizard:

Add Profiles Step 1 … … Last step of Add Profile

 But you know what is wierd?  When I was returned back to the Profiles screen, this is what I saw:

Profiles screen after Add Profile

No profiles.  But hey, didn’t I just add one?

Ok.  That’s fine, I’ll uninstall and reinstall.

Same problem. (Tried clicking “No” on that first message this time too 🙂 )

Ok, fine, I’ll uninstall, delete any cingular related files and registry entries.  So, I go through the cingular communications manager uninstall process, then I search the file system for Cingular and delete anything that looks related, then search the registry for Cingular and delete anything there that looks related.  I’m on a mission!  I’m going to delete those duplicate profiles!

Still, I have the same problem.

Ok, I must be missing something.  Isn’t there a registry monitoring tool that I can get?  Search google for monitor Registry.    First Link: RegMon for Windows v7.04

Then I notice there is also a link to FileMon to show you what files and directories a program is accessing, so I download that too:

Too much was being accessed, and it really didn’t help, except I noticed there was a hidden folder in my profile called “application data”.  It is usually located at C:\documents and settings\\application data.    In there was a folder called “cingular” with a “communications manager” folder in that.  I thought, I got you now!

To be sure, I also changed explorer to show hidden folders and files did another search for cingular, deleted everything, did the same in the registry too. 

Ok, I’m good now!  I reinstall… same problem.  Ok, time to call in backup.

I call the 1-800 number for support.  It wants my cell phone number before it will do anything.  I only use this for wireless internet access, so I don’t know it.  I look and look, finally find a bill.  Now, I’m good to call.

I call up and press the right options for technical help.  I get a lady on the phone that sounds more like an account rep than a tech person.  It has nothing to do with her being a lady, there is a difference between the way a tech person sounds and a non-tech person.  A tech person always seems to have an “attitude” like “Can’t you see I was just working on a problem, why do you need help?” or “What can I do to help this poor user?”  No, this person sounded like somebody about to make a sell.  She would make you feel that you were important regardless of what she really thought.

So, I said to myself, stop sterotyping, and I start explaing everything that happened above.  She listened patiently until I got to the end and said that unfortunately that was another department and she would connect me. 

First she was going to connect me to the ANS department.  Don’t know what it stands for, and I asked.  She came back on the line and said that actually wasn’t it and transfered me to another department.

I talked to Christopher from some tech group that was not ANS at Cingular.  I explained my problem and he asked if I had done a clean uninstall.  Just to be sure I understood what he meant, I asked and was supprised by the answer.  There is a program that completely uninstalls the Communications manager:

tried that, and got the latest communications manager install:

ran, reboot, ran, reboot, tried… same problem.
Then Chris walked me through creating a profile.  Then through manually deleting the profile in the applicaiton data folder I mentioned above.
Finally he tells me about the 3G watcher.
So, that’s the scoop.  I hoped this helped some disconnected soul!

Find the best articles and journal references

Found this out of the WorldChanging book:

It allows you to see the most favored references instead of the most sited.

Moms must read

A  man came home from work and found his three children
outside,still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes
and wrappers strewn all around the front yard.

The door of his wife’s car was open, as was the front
door to the house and there was no sign of the dog.

Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess.
A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall.

In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon
channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing.

In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food
was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food
was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small
pile of sand was spread by the back door.

He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and
more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might
be ill, or that something serious had happened.

He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its
way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy
soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and
toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls.

As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel.

She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went.
He looked at her bewildered and asked, “What happened here today?”

She again smiled and answered, “You know every day when
you come home from work and you ask me what in the world did I do today?”

“Yes,” was his incredulous reply.   She answered, “Well, today I didn’t do it.”

[source unknown]

Algebra problems to get you thinking

My 8 year old son wanted to learn calculus the other day.  So, I thought he should study a little algebra first.  Here are a series of problems that are similar to the ones that I gave him:

x-5 = 10

He had no problem with that one

2X = 10

He thought that X needed to be a digit in a number that started with 2.  After I explained that it really was 2 times x = 10, he was able to figure it out.

Then combining the two operations:

2x -5 = 15

No problem with that one.

x^2 = 9

Needed a review on squares.  We only covered the positive answer to this problem.  I have not gotten into negative numbers with him yet.

x^2 + 4 = 20

This is the one that we are currently stuck on. 

Do you have suggestions on how to teach an eight year old algebra and calculus?  Leave them in the comments below. 

Saving the environment through good choice on power

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we impact the environment.  Look a how much gasoline, electricity, water, and other things that you consume.  Now multiply that by 6 billion (estimated population of the Earth).  What do you think about that number?

Do the same with the garbage and sewage that you produce?  What do you think about that number??

This is something I hope to explore more in future posts.  But let me tell you what I found.

First off, thinking about Solar power, you probably did some research and found that it would cost tens of thousands of dollars to get a reasonable solar setup and you would still have to get some of your power from the grid.  Well, I found a company with the answer to the first part:  CitizenRe installs the solar panel with a $500 deposit and a minimum 5 year commitment and they sell you the power you need at a fix amount.  It seems like a really good deal.

Also, many power companies has programs that allow for you to buy all renewable power.  I just found out that Reliant, a provider in my area, has a program to allow for you to use all wind power.  Admittedly, there are some flaws with this program.  The first is that the power you get will not be produced by wind energy.  Instead, reliant will buy wind energy credits from a wind energy farm.  So that energy will be payed for, it will probably be produced, and most like consumed.  But I wonder if it really displaces the energy produced by dirtier means?  Still, it could be someting.

Look at the “Secure Wind Plan”.


Also, there is some action happening on the elecrtic car front.  Take a look at this site:



Library: Random aisle… many good books: WorldChanging!

At a recent trip to the Barbara Bush Harris County Library near where I live, I decided to radomly select an isle and look for a good book.  Here is what I found:


Worldchanging: A User\'s Guide for the 21st Century


It appears to be a very good book.  It has a lot of ideas on how we can change the world for the better.  How we can reduce the ecological impact of civilication.  How we can realize the potential of all of mankind. 

There is a website that goes along with the book:


Babel – the Bible

After watching the preview to the movie Babel, I decided to refresh myself of the original story from the Bible.  This is what I found:

Genesis 11

The Tower of Babel

 1 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As men moved eastward, [a] they found a plain in Shinar [b] and settled there.

 3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

 5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. 6 The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

 8 So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel [c] —because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

(This was obtained from;&version=31;  This looks to be a really good site for looking up Bible passages in several vesions/languages of the Bible.)

Several observations:

1) Mankind was one!  Had one language and worked together.

2) Mankind decides to do a project to keep them all together.  In this case build a tower to the heavens.

3) God sees that if mankind can do this, then mankind can do anything.

4) God decides that this is not good and creates language barriers between peoples.

Is it just me, or does this seem contrary to what we consider good today?  Don’t we consider it a good thing to break down these barriers and to have people work together?

Anyway, just some random thoughts.


Babel the movie

I just got through watching Babel the movie.  I bought it from Amazon’s Unbox service which is always a joy:

If you are looking for a movie that will make you laugh or a movie with a lot of action, then this movie is not for you.  But if you would like to experience the trouble with human communication through the eyes of an American tourist in Morocco, local people in Morocco, a hispanic lady in San Diego, and a deaf-mute Japanese girl in Tokyo, then this is the movie for you.  This movie can really get you thinking and potentially open your eyes to the pain of being mis-understood.  It also does a good job of showing how self absorbed and disrespectful Americans can sometimes be, even to their fellow American in need.