DESPITE all Microsoft's predictions that Windows NT could signal the death knell for the UNIX operating system, a report just released by Forrester Research of the United States indicates this isn't the case. According to the report, large companies see a new role for UNIX in addition to its traditional home on engineering workstations and time-shared mini-computers. Big firms were planning to increase their investments in UNIX during the next three years, the report showed. Overall, respondents planned to increase spending from an average of four per cent today to 11 per cent in 1996. More important, 79 per cent of these companies planned to focus their future spending on database/application servers. Respondents added that they would pay still greater attention to UNIX if vendors addressed the lack of commercial applications, compatibility problems across different versions of UNIX, and the dearth of system management capabilities - traditional weaknesses with the operating system that Microsoft is playing on with Windows NT. The same report does, however, also show that despite increased user interest in UNIX, the traditional vendors - Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Sun - were not prepared to compete with the PC vendors in the database/application server market - once again giving Microsoft a soft spot to aim for in its bid to grab UNIX market share with its new operating system. ANOTHER historic moment in the annals of computing. The past weekend saw the first movie transmitted on the Internet - the global computer network that connects millions of scientists and researchers and had been a medium for swapping research notes and an occasional still image. Although it fell somewhat short of expectations in terms of quality - it had to be reduced from full colour to a blurry black and white, and the spotty audio occasionally went silent - the event was a success in that it marked another first for on-line computing. Called, Wax: Or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees, the movie was an 85-minute feature by David Blair about a bee-keeper who ends up being kept by the bees. Since its release last year, the movie is reported to have attracted something of a cult following in the United States. The transmission of the movie was affected by Internet's limited data-carrying capacity, resulting in it having only about half the resolution of a normal television image. According to reports, even more disorienting was the fact the movie was broadcast at the dream-like rate of two frames a second, instead of the broadcast standard of 24, giving it an even more surreal quality than the big-screen original. The soundtrack came through haltingly, frequently broken up by what the engineers called ''packet drop out'' when the Internet became too congested with other data traffic. Nevertheless, the engineers at Sun Microsystems, at whose offices in Mountain View, California, the movie was watched, said they considered the premiere a success. WHILE other blue-chip computer makers are busy cutting staff and slashing prices in a bidto survive, Hewlett-Packard has reported second quarter earnings that surpassed Wall Street's expectations. Propelled by its revitalised computer business, the maker of computers and electronic equipment reported a rise in net income of 7.4 per cent, to US$347 million, from US$323 million a year ago. The earnings amounted to US$1.38 a share, up from $1.27 a share a year earlier. Financial analysts' estimates for the quarter had ranged from US$1.10 to US$1.35 a share. Net revenues in the latest quarter were up 21 per cent, to US$5.1 billion, compared with US$4.2 billion a year earlier. The latest quarter was the first in the company's history in which revenues exceeded US$5 billion. According to HP, orders in all of its businesses - computers, test and measurement equipment, medical products and components - improved during the quarter and hit a record US$5.4 billion, compared with US$4.2 billion a year earlier. The strongest growth came in computers, electronic components and medical products. Computer orders rose 33 per cent, a broad-based resurgence that went beyond the continually popular high-speed HP Deskjet and HP Laserjet printers to include the company's personal computers, work stations, mini-computers and networking products.