How-To Geek

From the Tips Box: Free Shipping with Amazon Filler, Repairing Ethernet Cables, and Emergency Stickers

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Once a week we round up some great tips from the tips box and share them with everyone. This week we’re looking at easy Amazon filler items, repairing the tab on Ethernet cable connectors, and a humorous data-security sticker.

FillerSeek Provides Easy Filler Finding for Amazon Free Shipping


Edward writes in with the following Amazon-centric tip:

As the last person on Earth without an Amazon Prime account, I find FillerSeek to be a handy tool. You get free shipping at Amazon when you spend $25. Normally I just bundle my purchases, but barring that FillerSeek makes it easy to find something in a category I’m interested in that is around the price I need to hit the $25 mark. I have to assume they pay their bills by getting some sort of Amazon Affiliate cut, but that’s cool with me because the service does what I need it to do!

We’re confident you’re not the last person on Earth without an Amazon Prime account so this tip is more than welcome; if other readers are using filler services like this we’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Repair a Broken Ethernet Cable Using Zip Ties


Beth writes in with the following tip about saving a busted Ethernet cord:

Normally I’d just pull out my cabling kit and repair a broken cord, but when your kit isn’t handy but the cord is lose thanks to a busted tab, you gotta do what you gotta do. This Instructable saved the day for me last week and I thought I’d share. It’s not pretty, but it works!

Is there anything zip ties and duct tape can’t fix? Nothing worth saving, we say.

In Case of Emergency Drill Here


Sid writes in with the following security-centric tip:

This is more of a fun start-a-conversation-with-your-fellow-geeks kind of thing than a serious thing, but I had to pass it along. A friend of mine printed these stickers the other day and passed them around the IT department. In a real emergency you’d better hope you’ve got really good decryption or a pack of thermite on hand, but when you’re in a bind a power drill just might have to do!

Working in IT you know this all too well: if you’re planning on going mainstream with that sticker idea you’d better make sure to specify exactly what kind of emergency requires drilling.

Have a tip to share?  Shoot us an email at and look for your tip on the front page!

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 03/29/12

Comments (18)

  1. r

    Seems like a good way to break your ethernet port if the zip tie gets stuck. Just buy a new good quality cable, and use it with care.

  2. Rob

    why would you drill through your screen if there was an emergency?

  3. Chris

    @Rob I believe that is where the hard drive is located

  4. Paul

    Probably not. The logo is usually intended to display, so that would be the “top”, i.e. the screen side.
    But hey, who cares anyway! It’s just a joke.
    Actually, based on the logo that I see, please DO drill there. LOL

  5. Bruce

    This comes from equipment, aircraft, tanks, ect. that have to have a absolute means to release a catch, latch, or open a door. Its actually very funny.

  6. Jack in Tennessee

    I could see the ‘drill here’ to be over part of the platter wherever the disk drive is, if you are trying to destroy the computer. Good computer forensics might still be able to get back a random email or part of a file, but for all reasonable security purposes, it would be toast.

    For practical use, it is just a good joke.

    I just got an amazon prime account. So the filler is of less use now. Still a good thing.

  7. Joezy

    if you keep drilling passed the screen, you will then go into the hard drive.

  8. LadyFitzgerald

    I am one of the rare people who do not have an Amazon Prime account (what does that make, two of us?) and do not see myself ever getting one (I just don’t see the benefit for me). Instead of looking for something to buy to bring my total up to $25 or more to qualify for free shipping or using a utility like FillerSeek, I maintain a Wish List on Amazon of low cost items I want and/or need but do not need to order right away; things like books, CDs, etc. When I do need to order something I need right away but is less than $25, I go to the Wish List and select something to pad out the order. This way, I’m getting something I actually want or need and not a spurious order for something I wouldn’t have ever ordered otherwise.

  9. Shelly LaGrange

    I have always understood that in order to qualify for the free shipping over $25, the items in the order have to be specifically marked “eligible for free shipping”. In other words, if I have items qualified for free shipping that total $18.00, that means I need $3.00 more of “eligible for free shipping” items; just any item costing $3.00 doesn’t qualify. The reason I’m saying this is because I’ve tried that, and I get the response that part of my order qualifies for free shipping but not all, and that I will need to pay shipping for the whole order unless I bring the qualifying total to $25.00; then I will still have to pay shipping for the non-qualifying parts of the order. Clear as mud? Anyway, that’s the way I’ve translated it. Hope I’m wrong, but wanted to bring it up.

  10. frogeyes

    If you go to search in Amazon, type in range of $$ you need, for example – “between $3.45 and $ 5.99” you will get millions of items to choose from. Try it!

  11. Lee

    If your using a decent drill (dosent allow for electricity to flow from bit to motor) and a bit you dont care about drill into that hard drive while it’s running and see who finds what from the pile of dust that falls out

  12. Ushindi

    I understand what Shelley is saying, but from my experience, “Filler” only offers items that themselves are eligible for free shipping. At least it has never done otherwise for me.
    LadyF has a good idea, also, I will bear in mind.

  13. Chris

    if you click through to the article, the sticker was designed to be functional when the laptop is closed rather than open and on.

  14. LadyFitzgerald

    Shelly, you are correct. Only items shipping from Amazon’s warehouses will qualify toward the $25 minimum required for free shipping. Amazon does make it easy by stating if an item is eligible for free shipping. I have not found that to be a problem since I avoid ordering from the Marketplace vendors whenever possible and I generally only populate my WishList with items eligible for free shipping..

    I try to avoid buying items from Amazon’s Marketplace vendors because of the lack of free shipping, questionable customer service from many of them, and it is difficult to get Amazon to do anything about it if you do have a problem with a Marketplace vendor. I always check the vendor reviews before ordering from a Marketplace vendor. I actually read the reviews (not the rating since too many people do not know the difference between a vendor review and a product review), looking for warning flags such as lack response to problems, consistent, even if infrequent, complaints of shipping problems, smart aleck and/or acusatory responses from vendors responding to complaints, etc. that suggest the vendor could be unreliable or difficult to deal with.

    Customer service on orders shipped from Amazon’s own warehouses is excellent.

  15. Ms Hanson

    What’s a Prime account?

  16. LadyFitzgerald

    From the Amazon website:

    Amazon Prime is a membership program that gives you and your family unlimited fast shipping, such as FREE Two-Day shipping to street addresses in the contiguous U.S., on all eligible purchases for an annual membership fee of $79. Amazon Prime members in the U.S. can enjoy instant videos: unlimited, commercial-free, instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows through Amazon Instant Video at no additional cost. Members who own Kindle devices can also choose from thousands of books — including more than 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers — to borrow and read for free, as frequently as a book a month with no due dates, from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

  17. Flipperbrown

    HaaYuuck..No way I’m waiting for an emergency, Ahm agonna drill this baby now!

  18. dave seems of dubious value. The idea of maintaining a wish list of things you need or want seems much more useful. imho

    go ahead and drlll… macs have no parts inside, they are magic

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