Thanks toothandnail and everyone.
I hope to try toothandnail's alternative soon. Meanwhile, thanks to Vector's top brass, I got Rosen's SimpleBackup running. My basic problem turned out to be simple: I did not have dcron running. I went to vasm, turned it on, and SimpleBackup works now as root. For some reason on my system it does not run as user, but that is for another day. For now, I will mark this thread solved.