Backup Software options


I know that there have been previous posts about backup software. I've tried to read through them, but still need some direction.

First of all, a little about my computer setup. I have a 12" powerbook with a combo-drive. 80 G hard-drive running OS 10.3.9. Haven't upgraded to Tiger yet--probably will in the future, but not yet. I don't have an external hard-drive for extra storage--and on my meager teacher's salary, probably won't for a while. I am in the process of looking at external DVD burners to maximize the amount of storage that I can burn to a DVD versus the CD's that I'm limited to in my current set-up. Don't know how soon I'll be purchasing that, so for now it's CD's only.

When I still had my OLD computer, a Power Mac 6100/60, I used the Norton Utilities 2.0 Backup program (I know, I know, Norton programs aren't recommended for Macs). But I loved the way that the backup feature worked. I could set up different backup sessions for customized sets of folders. It would calculate how many disks I would need, and then it would compress the folders, burn/copy to the first disk, and ask for each successive disk when it needed it.

Then, the next time I backed up, I could choose which backup session/folders I wanted to back up, choose whether to only update new and changed files, it would recalculate how many new disks I would need (above and beyond the old ones) and it would then burn/copy through the disks again.

I loved the ease of what to backup, it "saved" the settings for each session so that they could be easily repeated the next time for each set of folders, it would compress to save space, and then easily burn to multiple disks.

I'd like to find a back-up program that works similar to this. I want to be able to compress the files so that I can save space on the CD's. I would probably use some kind of burning software so that I could add to an already burned CD-R or use CD-RW discs so that they can be used again.

Mostly, I'm just wanting to back up my documents and some preference/library files.

What are my options? I need something that's affordable as I'm on a limited budget. But I'd also like the flexibility and ease of the Norton Backup program that I described.

Thanks for any advice that you can give me. I know that I'm limited due to the destination that I need to backup to, but hopefully there's something that will work for my needs.
All depends on how regemented you are as a person, I'm also a teacher and have lots of lesson plans, schemes, worksheets, photos, video files and stuff floating around my documents folder. I just wasn't backing up my stuff regularly to cd/dvd. I got an external hd and use chronosync to back up documents as they are added/changed. Bobw suggested it and I find that it fits my needs perfectly. I had a copy of Retrospect but it was overkill. The external hd wasn't that expensive and provides piece of mind and hassle-free backups that that you can forget about until you need them. The HD doesn't have to be huge and they are very reasonable these days.