WinNT, Apache, PHP4

i have a page that creates session values as follows:

...
session_start();
session_register("nickname");
$HTTP_SESSION_VARS["nickname"] = "jimmy crack corn";

// displays "jimmy crack corn"
echo $HTTP_SESSION_VARS["nickname"];
...

then i navigate to another page that should recognize the session history and does the following:

session_start();

// try to do something with "nickname"
$local = $HTTP_SESSION_VARS["nickname"]

when i try to reference the nickname variable i always get an "Undefined index: nickname" error, even though session_is_registered("nickname") always returns true!

am i missing something obvious?

-matt