>ESD? Shudder. When they finally abandoned it, it still had battery eating daemon/lib error-handling/busyloop bug(s).
Battery-eating isn't the end of the world - especially back when ESD was written since we didn't have all the CPU power states we do now, and hardly anyone had a laptop, so it didn't end up making much difference. The real problem with ESD was the randomly high latency and the fact that it was buggy and unstable.
That said, even today it's the only reliable-ish method of forwarding sound from a Linux machine to a Windows machine. Fortunately it looks like some brave soul has been working on getting PA running on Windows, so maybe within a year or two this crawling horror can finally be put to rest.