I'm posting this from my newly updated and backed-up laptop! I'm now running Snow Leopard on my Mac, and everything automatically backs up to my external hard drive. Yay! No more do I need to worry about my computer dying on me and taking all my photos and stories into the endless abyss. I'm covered! (If only I'd done this last summer! I would have avoided a lot of headaches and expenses.)
Just in case anyone's curious: Time Machine is awesome. Snow Leopard is awesome. Macs are awesome.