I really enjoyed reading Windows and Mirrors because of the way it presented the computer. Although, I was quite aware before reading Bolter and Gromala that my computer meant more to me than say my toaster -something which Donald Norman would surely criticize- the book was a great resource from which to analyze and understand the dual existence of computers as both a (transparent)tool and (reflective) medium.
I found the concept of forming an "experience" through digital art really enlightening especially since I feel our culture is so thoroughly immersed in these digital art experiences: Movies can be created digitally, amusement parks employ digital techniques to immerse us into their environments - think the Jurassic Park or the Back to the Future rides at Universal studios. Places like Las Vegas and Time Square (taking a point from Mike) are artificially-digitally-created environments that we step into. This book really drilled the point home that computers or rather more specifically digital art is all around us - we're literally walking into digital art without having to wear virtual reality eye wear!
More and more our cities seem to be gravitating or changing into this landscape created through the mastery of digital technology. But I'm not saying this is bad thing, what I am saying is that this phenomena is the future - computers are an exceedingly powerful medium with multiple dimensions no matter what Norman said. Take into account the current trend of print newspapers and magazines. There is a major trend towards media integration in the form of digital art... every major newspaper and magazine in the country has a digital presence and more and more they're focusing on creating an "experience" for their readers - this trend has been going since the 1990s as suggested by the reading back when designers first started to fiddle with online programs
Taking into consideration other interpretations of Bolter and Gromala -such as Pat's argument concerning our capability of preserving and developing an imagination with the advent of digital realities created for us- its interesting to imagine the effects that developing digital technologies and environments may present to our cultural outlook and our social structures.....good book to end the class with