Well, it seems that I have fixed my own problem so as it may be helpful to others here is the solution I came up with.
I found a dsdt patch for Dell Inspiron Laptops at:
It says that the patch is for BSD, but it worked fine with linux. Then to find out how to apply the custom dsdt ( the kernel needs to be patched, there are a couple different methods ) I went to http://acpi.sourceforge.net
where they had some howto's on the subject.
So now I successfully have working (at least for the most part) acpi for my laptop! Hope this helps.