SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan. 23 -- A standing-room only crowd of winners and well wishers packed the Club Regent at San Jose's Fairmont Hotel for the presentation of Laurin Publishing Co.'s 2000 Photonics Awards ceremony. The Distinction in Photonics Award was presented to Kevin Kalkhoven, retired CEO of JDS Uniphase, for his individual efforts in advancing the photonics industry. Laurin Publishing's group publisher, Wendy A. Laurin, made the presentation. In his acceptance remarks, Kalkhoven blended humor and penetrating insight to remind the audience of the parallels between how the photonics industry is evolving and what happened in the computer industry. He pointed out a time when there was IBM and the rest of the bunch, which included such names as Data General and NCR. Today, the 'bunch' has fallen by the wayside and the face of the computer industry has changed completely. That happened because technology advances as applications demand it and technologies that were either deemed impossible - or not dreamed of at all - rise up to challenge established firms.Such is the stage of the photonics industry today, said Kalkhoven, with start-ups backed by new ideas and technologies vying for position with the established firms that keep making acquisitions in order to keep a handle on new technologies. Now involved in venture funding, Kalkhoven made clear that not all start-ups have industry-altering plans, but the few who do will make a difference and the old reliable firms wise enough to see that and act will prosper and not become part of the bunch of the photonics industry.