Digital Emergency

November 27, 2017

The “Guru of Geek” Marlo Anderson, “Tech Geezer” Jim Walsh and special guest Mike Wilkinson, Blue Hawk Audio and Video, discuss audio changes in the industry, and how the systems from have improved the audio sound by 100%. Also, in the wake of the horrific Las Vegas shooting, The Guru of Geek provides some helpful information to listeners about how to let family and friends know you are OK in an instance of an emergency.

Blue Hawk Audio and Video

Mike Wilkinson, owner of Blue Hawk Audio and Video, set a goal to provide the very best, high-grade audio and video equipment to the people of North Dakota. Starting out in a 15 x 15 space to currently owning and operating two stores in the Dickinson and Bismarck malls, Blue Hawk Audio and Video has grown. Since 2004, Mike has traveled every where, except outer space, to acquire the best products available for retail sale at one of his two stores in North Dakota. Mike sells everything from earbuds to home automation access control systems, including security surveillance systems. If there is a market for it, Mike is available to provide a personalized service of finding what the needs of his customers are.

The Great Debate

Vinyl vs. Digital

The “Guru of Geek” and “Tech Geezer” are reminded of how life was years ago (without disclosing their age). Some days Marlo can be found reminiscing about Old Blue Eyes (that’s Frank Sinatra for you younger folk). Marlo has always like music that was uncut and raw. Jim can easily be found listening to early Rolling Stones tunes on his old turntable. Alas, when life was simple and music was a warm recording of the artist with that hint of crackle in the background. Fast forward to 2017, the age of digital everything. According to Mike, his preference is digital recordings because they provide a higher resolution of clarity with the depth and range to make the output of sound better.

If you have never heard a record playing on a turntable, you should visit Blue Hawk Audio and Video and listen for yourself. The difference between vinyl sound and digital sound is an experience between an artist and a performer. Artist’s capture the sound and performer’s manipulate the sound. If you like the high tech sound with all the fanfare, then digital is your desire. If you like the earthiness and originality of the sound, vinyl is the way to go. No one is sure why vinyl disappeared, but it’s back to remind us that some things are better as they age.

Wireless vs. Wired

Mike knows a lot about sound systems, equipment and gadgets that help stream the best quality sound. If he had to choose, he would probably choose to go wired. Why? Because a wired system can be customized according to the location, i.e., your family room. Wireless systems often are spread out over an area and are ran on a specific signal. If that signal is weak, so is your sound. Interference in the WiFi connection can cause problems through wireless connections; whereas wired always delivers exactly what you are looking expecting.


The “Guru of Geek” is always interested in the latest technology. He is especially fascinated with how far streaming devices have come in the past few years. There was a time when digital televisions were expensive. Mike remembers the first digital television sold in his store for over $2,000. That wasn’t including the extras that were needed to be added to the device to get a high-definition experience. Since then, there are tons of devices that can be used with a smart t.v. The Roku, Fire Stick, and the Google Chrome Cast are separate devices that can be installed in and connected to the t.v. Almost all flat screen t.v.’s are available today with these products already installed. What ever device you choose to use, it’s certain cable companies need to step up their game if they expect to compete with the new inexpensive devices that allow us to stream movies, music and regular television. See here

Using Social Media During an Emergency

In the wake of all the natural disasters and public emergencies happening in the world, there are moments during and after when family members become over-stricken with panic wondering where their family and friends are and whether they are safe. Our smart devices are our quickest resource to learn about what is happening in real time. We often scour the Internet looking for live news feeds and make direct calls trying to locate people. However, the increased traffic with our smart devices often puts First Responder’s in the midst of trying to stay connected with law enforcement, hospitals and other emergency service. This disruption hinders the progress of the emergency staff.

Many social media outlets now have a place where you can check in with family and friends to notify them you are save. Facebook has an option called Crisis Response. Here, you can find up-to-date information about any emergency and check in with family and friends to let them know you are safe. Checking in using this feature sends a post to all of your friends’ timelines telling them that you are safe and secure. Using this feature is one way to free up lines for emergency workers to better serve the community. To learn more about the Facebook page, visit

If you would like the “Guru of Geek” to do a product review for you and have it featured on The Tech Ranch, let us know! Leave us a comment on this episode or call 701-204-6674 for more information.

Join the “Guru of Geek” Marlo Anderson, “Tech Geezer” Jim Walsh and “Miss Metaverse” Katie Aquino every week for a new episode of the Tech Ranch.

Broadcast Date October 2,  2017  Episode 287

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