The backup was working fine when I didn't fucking need it, or, until the HD on the laptop it was backing up actually crashed.
I'm freaking out a bit here because the only reason this is only a little over a year's worth of lost data so far is because I kept the original 60G HD I replaced in late 2007, and that's still good. So that's only a year's worth of photos and music elements and ideas, and it's a fucking good thing that I at least have some fucking printouts of some of my sheet music that I can type back in, assuming I ever trust any of this crap again ever.
Oh, and in case you think I'm insufficiently paranoid, keeping the old 60G HD around was my third level backup. Time Machine was the first. The second level backup was drag-and-drop of important files to a separate (Windows XP) server with separate harddrive, all on separate hardware, a backup which is also fucked, thanks to that HD developing physical sector errors en masse. (That backup was also old, but WHAT THE FUCK?!)
Good thing I kept four to five copies of everything or I'd really be fucked! More than I am, I mean.
eta: go go gadget finder text wrapping