I apologize in advance for my lack of experience with APM on laptops..
However, it sounds like your kernel is either not configured for APM (means you will have to build a custom kernel or install a kernel that has APM enabled)
That you do not have the apm module configure properly.....
Of the two choices, if you are reasonably confident in your computer skills, building a custom kernel is really not that difficult.
If you decide you are willing to try, then I suggest "googling" how to build a custom Linux kernel, and if you run into problems or have questions, start a new thread on this board....