EPC Opens New Atlanta Facility

In January of this year, EPC officially opened their newest facility in Atlanta, GA, offering all EPC equipment disposition services to the region. At 65,000 square feet, the Atlanta facility is the largest EPC equipment processing facility outside of the St. Louis metropolitan area.

EPC’s presence in the Southeast began in 2008 when it opened its Columbia, South Carolina facility, which has been servicing businesses throughout the region ever since. With our new presence in Atlanta, we hope to expand that service and meet the region’s rising demand for equipment disposition. “More companies are seeing the value of professional IT asset disposition services like ours,” said Dan Fuller, president and founder of EPC. “The reality is that most businesses don’t want to pay to have antiquated equipment shipped very far. Therefore, it makes good business sense to continue to expand our geographic footprint in the United States and globally.”

Our St. Louis-based company was founded in 1984 and operates across the United States in six other locations: St. Charles, MO; Kansas City, MO; Las Vegas, NV; Houston, TX; Allentown, PA; and Wright City, MO. The company serves as an international leader in recycling and proper environmental handling of used IT equipment. EPC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CSI Leasing, Inc., the largest independent IT leasing company in the country. EPC’s services include the sale of new and used computer systems and parts, repairs and upgrades, networking design, and IT asset management. EPC is committed to a zero-landfill policy and zero export of unprocessed equipment overseas and has signed the Basel Action Network Pledge of Responsible E-Waste Stewardship as a certified e-Steward. For more information and a complete summary of the services provided, contact EPC at (636)443-1999 or visit epcusa.com.

1100 West Lake Parkway, Suite 175, Atlanta, GA 30336

Bigger Doesn’t Always Mean Better When It Comes to Computer Monitors

by Tony Lovasco

It’s not uncommon for shoppers looking to upgrade their monitor to seek out the biggest display they can afford.  This temptation is unsurprising – when one shops for a television, the physical size of the display is typically the most important decision – why would it be any different for a computer monitor?  To answer that question, we must examine how a typical digital display renders content.

If you were to look closely at a modern flat-panel LCD screen, you’d discover that the images shown are made up of an enormous number of tiny colored rectangles.  These boxes—called pixels, or sub-pixels depending on how narrow you focus—are arranged in much the same way as the holes in a screen door.  Each pixel renders a very small part of the image, and when viewed at a distance your brain blends them together to create the illusion of a continuous picture.  The number and arrangement of these pixels is denoted as a measurement called “resolution”.

Resolution is expressed in the form of a ratio – the number of horizontal pixels by the number of vertical ones in the grid.  In the world of televisions, there are only a handful of common resolutions (for example, 1920×1080 is the resolution for TVs advertised as being 1080p). But in the world of PC monitors and laptop displays, there are dozens of different common resolutions, even when comparing two displays of exact same physical size.

A higher resolution display of the same size will naturally appear to be sharper and more refined than a lower resolution one, by virtue of the fact that your eye is able to more easily blend together a higher number of smaller pixels.  But equally as important is how much content will fit on screen. If the content occupies a fixed number of pixels, a higher resolution monitor will be able to display more on screen at any given time than the same physical size display with a lower resolution.

It’s important to remember that a larger physical display does not always have a higher resolution than a smaller display.  While resolution often increases with the physical size of the panel, some larger monitors are sold with lower resolutions in order to meet a budget price point.  The result is that you might buy an “upgraded” monitor, only to discover that you can’t fit any more on the screen than with the smaller one.

Due to the variety of different screen resolutions and the labor involved, many vendors don’t advertise detailed specifications of the monitors they sell, and instead only provide basic details such as the size and model number.  In those cases it’s always best to check out the monitor manufacturer’s website, where you should be able to find complete resolution information to make comparison shopping easier.

How to Remove your Personal Data from your iPhone

Every year, there are tons of functional Apple Devices that become “iCloud Locked”, meaning that they were signed in with an Apple ID, but never signed out. The reasons for iCloud locking was to protect user data, and to dissuade would-be thieves from stealing your phone. This is an excellent security feature of iOS, however it does come with a significant downside. The result is millions of unusable iPhones and iPads, that end up in drawers, sold for parts, and in landfills. This is a guide to removing that iCloud lock when you’re ready to move to a new phone!

  1. Turn your iPhone on and open the settings app.

2. Scroll down and click on the “General” tab.

3. Next, locate and click the “Reset” tab. Depending on what version of iOS your phone is on, this will either be the last tab or the second-to-last tab.

4. From here, we want to click the second option “Erase All Content and Settings”. Now you will be prompted to either “Backup Then Erase”, which you should do if you haven’t already, or “Erase Now”.

5. Lastly, your iPhone will ask you for your Apple ID password twice. This is to verify that it is you erasing the phone, and that you are sure you want to. If you don’t remember your password, it can be reset here: iforgot.apple.com

What do you do if you no longer have the phone? Not to worry, there’s a solution for that as well!

  1. On your computer or phone, open your favorite browser and navigate to icloud.com

2. Now you will need to sign in with your Apple ID. After doing so, you will be greeted with two rows of icons. Locate and click on “Find iPhone” on the bottom row.

3. At the top of the screen in the middle, there is a drop-down menu labeled “All Devices”. Click on that, then click on the device you are wanting to remove from your account.

4. Select the device you wish to remove from your account.

5. Tap “Erase iPhone” or “Erase iPad”, and a request will be sent to that device. Within 24 hours all your data will be erased.

That’s it!

In just 5 simple steps, you can clear all your personal data from your old phone and have it ready for its next life!

Combating the Recycling Crisis

The recycling market is in a crisis.

In January of 2018, China enacted its new recycling imports policy, essentially putting an end to decades-long United States recycling practices. China, which previously imported a whopping forty-five percent of the world’s plastic waste for recycling, now refuses to accept any imports which are not 99.5% pure. This is due to the growing environmental concerns associated with processing these contaminated plastics. Now, countries which relied on China for plastic recycling have been forced to seek alternatives. The bulk of the responsibility has fallen on other Asian countries unequipped to carry the burden China has left behind. The US, often unable to meet the 99.5% purity requirement, sends many recycled goods to the landfills. Recycling is no longer the lucrative business it once was. Instead, recycling companies lose money.

Part of the US’s crisis has to do with “single-stream” recycling. Years ago, in order to recycle, households were forced to separate recyclable goods by type: glass, plastic, metal, and paper. This method of curbside recycling made it easier for recycling companies to process pure batches of recyclable materials; however, this was much more tedious for the average household, and public participation in recycling was low. But when the US introduced single-stream recycling in the 1990s, participation greatly increased. “Single-stream” refers to the now-common practice of placing all recyclable goods into the same bin for collection. Rather than placing the responsibility on the consumer, it is now the recycling plant’s job to separate and process recyclable materials.

While single-stream recycling’s convenience made recycling more accessible to the public, it has created a challenge for the industry. Processing all recyclable goods in one bin increases the risk of contaminants, which can weaken batches of recycled plastic and render it unusable. Many uninformed consumers also place non-recyclable materials in their recycling bins, posing many problems for recycling machines. Garden hoses and soft plastics such as plastic bags are among the most common offenders, both of which can become tangled in machinery and endanger workers. Recycling plants now struggle to process pure batches of plastic that can be refined and reused, and the criteria of China’s new policy is almost impossible to achieve. Even if your home maintains good recycling practices, your efforts may be for naught.

As awareness of this problem grows, many have become discouraged.

How can we be sure our recycling is being processed properly? What is the point of recycling if our waste may end up in a landfill anyway?

The first and most important step is education. To avoid contamination, educate yourself on what can and cannot go in your recycling bin. This varies by county, so please pay attention to your local recycling and waste management practices. Pay attention to the numbers on your plastics, and be aware of which numbers your local recycling collectors can take. Avoid “wishful” or “aspirational recycling”–if you aren’t sure whether something can be recycled, don’t put it in your recycling bin. Educate your friends and family on these rules, and encourage them to be aware of their local regulations. The more people practice good recycling habits, the fewer contaminants end up in recycling machines.

When you can, reduce and reuse first. Remember, “recycle” is the third part of the triangle. While it can be hard to avoid things like single-use plastic packaging, look for ways to reduce the amount of waste your household produces, and reuse what you can. Bring reusable shopping bags to the grocery store. Use reusable water bottles instead of buying disposable plastic.

Be aware of your resources. While plastic bags don’t belong in your curbside bin, they are recyclable. I f you have the common plastic bag full of plastic bags you have no idea what to do with somewhere in your kitchen, look for special bins at your local grocery store to deposit your soft plastics. Instead of throwing old light bulbs away (which is not only wasteful, but also may pose a chemical hazard), find out if your recycling center takes light bulbs, and what kinds of light bulbs they take. While these solutions may require an extra trip, they help keep curbside recycling pure and allow you peace of mind.

Look for companies with trustworthy recycling processes. EPC has a strict no-landfill policy for its e-waste. When you take your electronics and appliances to EPC, you can be confident that your e-waste will be responsibly recycled and processed for reuse. Visit our website at https://www.epcusa.com/services/itad/asset-disposition/#recycling for more information about our recycling process.

The problems facing the recycling industry are large, and it may be tempting to give up and dump everything in the trash. But you can take responsible steps to help recycling companies process your waste.

More information on the recycling crisis, and what you can do to help:

National Geographic: Plastic Recycling Is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It.

New York Times: 6 Things You’re Recycling Wrong

What Is the Number One App to Install Onto Your Phone?

There really is an app for that.

From social media, to games, to apps that can track your sleep cycle, both the App Store and Google Play Store have just about everything you may need or want in your day-to-day life. The small rectangles in our pockets can carry an extraordinary amount of data, and various applications help us navigate that data in a way that no other generation has been able to do.

But out of the hundreds—no, thousands—of apps on these stores, which is the best? What is the number one most valuable app to have installed on your device?

In my opinion, it’s Google Photos.

Why do I think Google Photos is better than the rest? What makes this simplistic picture app the most important?

Not enough people take advantage of the amazing features Google Photos has to offer, even when it comes pre-installed on some new devices. Here are the reasons I think everyone should have this app installed on their phone, and what makes it so great to use:

  • Google Photos can back up all photos at a high resolution (up to 16MP) at no cost to you.
  • It can back up all videos at up to 1080p resolution.
  • The amounts of pictures and videos Google Photos can back up at this quality is unlimited, which means you don’t have to pay for any additional storage.  
  • Google Photos is available on both Android and iOS, so you can access your pictures on any of your devices.
  • This app will automatically start to back up your pictures and video as soon as you connect it to Wi-fi. or you can set it up to back them up on the go as you take them. For this, you will have to go into Settings > Back up and sync > turn on Use Cellular Data (I would only recommend this for people with unlimited data, as it may end up costing quite a bit, depending on how many photos you take)

To take advantage of these features,when you use the app, make sure your “upload size” setting in your app is set to“High Quality.” If you want to retain a higher resolution and size, you can select “Original Quality,” but your photos will count against the 15GB of free storage that Google Drive allows. Once your 15GB is full, you will have to start paying for extra storage, or delete some of your photos to make room for new ones. And who wants to scroll through a year’s worth of cute dog photos to choose which ones to ax?

To use this application, you must also have a Gmail account. That way, Google can tie your photos on all your devices to you, giving you access to them on any device you sign in on.

Google Photos is a valuable tool for the casual cell phone photographer. With this app, you don’t have to choose between saving your vacation pictures and freeing up your storage. The Google Photos app gives any smartphone user, iPhone or Android, a way to save those memories without stressing about running out of space. The days of desperately mass-deleting old photos can end.

Why I Ditched Android for the iPhone XS

It was seven years ago when I opened the box to my brand new iPhone 4S. It was a magical moment, full of wonder and awe, at a time when smartphones were really starting to become capable little machines with the capacity to enhance our lives and hold our attention at ransom. This was the first time that I had ever bought a brand-new iPhone, and by any definition you could have called me an Apple fanboy. I was soon obsessed with jailbreaking and tinkering with these devices. It quickly became known around my school that if you needed a phone unlocked or a screen fixed, I was your guy.

However, it didn’t take long for iOS to feel kind of dull, even with all the customizations that jailbreaking brought. Not 6 months after buying that iPhone, I would go on to trade it for a Samsung Galaxy Nexus and enter the world of rooting and loading custom ROMs, only sometimes checking in to see what iOS was up to. I personally was not a fan of the limitations put in place by Apple on a device that I owned; considering myself a “power user” (read: nerd) at the time, I found the limitless potential of Android refreshing.

Now don’t get me wrong; though I’ve had my qualms with Apple for years, I’ve always found their operating systems to be intuitive and honestly designed with the user in mind. Over the years I have watched from the outside as Apple slowly started to figure out what exactly its users wanted. To believe that Apple is still at the forefront of innovation would be disingenuous; instead, they have shifted their strategy to one of patience, taking the time to let others make mistakes first while slowly perfecting the technology and releasing it once mature. Examples of this include Apple Pay, Touch ID, Face ID, wireless charging, dual cameras, and the list goes on. A lot of features were blatantly stolen from Android and the Jailbreak community, none of which I have a problem with, but feel it should be mentioned.

I’ve been an Android user for quite awhile now, but even with all the customization options, I still found myself becoming bored with the platform. I couldn’t help but wonder if I could go back to an iPhone now that the platform has matured. Even with the iPhone XS’ flaws, such as the notch, no fingerprint scanner, and lack of headphone jack, I couldn’t avert my gaze. I decided to take a chance and buy the new iPhone. What started as a mild curiosity has blossomed into full-on infatuation. I love how slick this phone is. Ditching the home button has proven (to me at least) to be the last piece of the puzzle to iOS’s fluidity. Gestures work great, Face ID surprisingly works very well (even in the dark), and my battery life is fantastic. I have very little to complain about with the phone itself. What annoyed me the most is that, this time, the phone didn’t come with a headphone jack to Lightning adapter. For how much this phone costs, there’s no excuse not to include an adapter besides greed.

To be honest, there’s not a whole lot, or anything really that this phone does that any new Android flagship can’t. However, everything it does do, it does extremely well. Every little detail has been thought of and polished. The OLED panel is beautiful, the 120hz Touch Sample Rate is snappy, and the Dolby Atmos speakers are something I didn’t know I needed, but are absolutely incredible, and not just for a smartphone either.

Is the new iPhone worth $999? To me it isn’t, and I actually didn’t pay that much for it. When the phone first launched, Sprint had a killer deal making the iPhone XS free on lease with eligible trade in that I took advantage of.

All in all, the phone is going to cost me less than $500 when I pay it off. If you have an aging iPhone, or if you have an Android and are thinking of switching to the dark side, I’d recommend holding out for a good deal if you can. If the price doesn’t deter you (most phones will require a 30-year mortgage soon anyway), keep the iPhone XS on your radar. If you are looking for something that works well right out of the box and don’t need to be bothered by a bunch of unnecessary options, this could very well be the phone for you.

 

Stand Up and Celebrate in 2018…

A growing number of studies clearly show that sitting for long periods of time negatively impacts human health. To combat this, a variety of companies are offering “standing desks” that costs hundreds, in some cases, thousands of dollars, that enable you to stand at your workstation rather than sitting. What if we told you that you could get all of the benefits of standing, also have the option to sit any time you want – AND – move to any area you wanted?

“How are you going to move anywhere you want, and sit and or stand with one workstation?” you ask. Let us explain.

EPC, Inc. has recently acquired a large number of Multi-function, Variable-height, Mobile Task Carts that offer outstanding options when it comes to being able to stand, sit AND move anywhere you want. Each of the units, in addition to offering a variety of height options, also include a rechargeable mobile battery pack*. This gives you literally free-flowing access to anywhere you want to take it either in home, home office or business across the board.

Still not sold on these hard industrial plastic, multi-function phenomenons?

Let’s talk about price. The original retail price for each of these units in this form (model number, number of drawers, battery size, etc) was $3,000+. EPC, Inc. is ready to get you yours for just $50 and shipping. (NOTE: Laptop, Backpack, Keyboard & Mouse and All Drawer Contents are for Display Purposes Only)

Click Here to See More Photos of the Multi-Function, Adjustable-height Mobile Task Cart from EPC, Inc.!

Be sure to check out our complete gallery of photos now to view more details, features and use the form below to let us know how many you’d like! They’ll go fast but they are another sample of EPC, Inc’s acquisition power and ability to give you deals that just simply cannot be matched anywhere else.

*(units come “as is”, a new battery pack can be purchased to net 6-9 hours of battery power for just $200)

Your Tablet has Wi-Fi Access, but What About this 4G Access Thing?

The ability to access, read and interact with data remotely really is the name of the game when it comes to modern day living. Whether it’s your cell phone, your newly acquired smart speaker or even a new tablet you’ve gotten, getting information now, when you need it, is the way it’s all going.

Tablet technology has exploded in just the last several years and literally puts the power of the internet in your hand – in a larger format – right now. In many cases, that’s allowed tablets to replace both laptop and desktop application for many people.

When you consider acquiring one of EPC, Inc’s “New-In-Box iPad Mini 2s”, something to consider is that in addition to getting a great item at an outstanding price, you’ll also now have access to mobile information access, regardless of your available Wi-Fi connections. Let me explain.

In addition to having access to all of the standard features of an iPad, in a smaller presentation, you’ll also have cellular access ability. This can help you access even more information in a number of ways.

  • 4G Connectivity: This allows you to connect to the Internet via your cell phone provider even when you’re away from work or home when you don’t have access to a Wi-Fi network. This is a great solution for those who travel a lot. The additional access typically will add a small cost to your monthly phone plan that ranges currently from $5-15 extra per month.
  • GPS: While cell phone technology and the enhancements to GoogleMaps & other available map applications via cell phone have been enhanced, having a larger  screen and 4G connectivity will not only make it easier to see your location and where you need to go, but also delivers more accuracy.

What you may have also noticed is the added price for the 4G-possible iPad. Several things to consider when deliberating additional cost include:

  • Are you on the road and away from a Wi-Fi Network often? If so, the 4G connectivity is instantly valuable.
  • Only have it mostly at home? Having 4G potential allows you to (depending on your provider) to use it not only at home via Wi-Fi, but also to ask your provide to “turn-on” the 4G access so now you have complete mobile access to information, and then turn if off (along with the additional cost) when you aren’t using it.
  • How are your eyes? The fact is that, for most, your eyesight will worsen over time and looking at data, maps, movies and more is just simply easier on the larger tablet screen.

No matter how, or when you want to access information, our new-in-box iPad Mini 2s are another excellent technology deal that we’re happy to share with you and your business and/or family.

Use the form below to tell us more about your needs and we’ll have a sales representative contact you immediately!

Why Is The “Right To Repair” So Important?

A few months back, many iPhone 6 users were faced with Apple shutting down their iPhones with one of their software updates. Those users had made repairs on their phones, without using an authorized repair shop. Apple’s decision caused a public outcry and eventually, they reverted these changes in their next version of iOS.

This is the same situation that happens whenever an owner of a John Deere tractor attempts to make repairs through someone who is not authorized. After fixes are made, they are still required to have a John Deere representative come out and authorize the repairs, which is another added on expense and time consumer. Many of these farmers are fighting this because it could slow down their work in the field.

If this is not something that Apple is allowed to get away with, why is John Deere getting away with it?

Whether you’re wanting to fix your iPhone or the John Deere tractor in your field, the “right to repair” is a vital factor to support your livelihood.  At least eight states have been considering laws to protect the user’s “right to repair”. This “right to repair” will cause the users to have the chance to get more life out of the device, instead of tempting the user to just toss the device into the trash. Big or small, electronic devices contribute to the 20 to 50 million metric tons of e-waste that we produce every year, worldwide. When a device is harder to repair, it is more likely to be tossed into a landfill, even if there are laws that attempt to prevent this.

E-waste is extremely dangerous if it ends up in landfills. Batteries can explode and cause fires and many chemicals can get into the ground water surrounding the landfills. Instead of keeping up the habit of running to the store to buy a new device every time something breaks, we should be taking the device to the repair shop to extend the life of the item. While we are fighting for the ability to access the information to fix our devices ourselves, there are still companies like EPC, Inc. that offers service and repairs on many of your electronic devices.

EPC will always attempt to repair first, using our award-winning service department.   But if the machine is truly end of life, EPC’s Electronic Recycling Center, de-manufactures and recycles your e-waste to reduce the amount that ends up in landfills. Most electronics are 100% recyclable and EPC follows the BAN e-Steward guidelines while recycling all raw materials. We also take data security very seriously and any data recycled devices is destroyed according to the NIST 800-88 Guidelines to ensure the privacy of our customers.

Stop in to our St. Charles, MO location today to get your electronic devices repaired by our award-winning service department!

EPC Named 2017 Employer of the Year in the Service Category

St. Charles, MO- EPC, Inc. is proud to announce that we have been recognized as the 2017 Employer of the Year in the Service Category for the city of St. Charles! Dan Fuller, CEO, accepted this award on EPC’s behalf during a luncheon on Thursday, May 4th, 2017, where the Greater St. Charles Chamber of Commerce presented the five St. Charles City Awards, as well as three Chamber of Commerce Awards. We take great pride in providing the best service to all of our customers and appreciate this great recognition from the city of St. Charles.

EPC, Inc. was founded more than 30 years ago and have prided themselves with supplying our customers with great service from the start. Whether you need assistance with data security, IT asset disposition, or servicing your home computer, our award-winning, experienced technicians are ready to assist you in any way possible.

Interested in learning more about our services?