Who digitilized Ethiopic?
Engineer Fesseha changed the course of our language forever and the way we use it to communicate when he came up with the first Ethiopian word-processor in DOS called Dashen in 1985. He was the founder and president of Dashen Engineering - the first company that offered the first commercial Ethiopic software. The company was formed in 1982 in Santa Clara - California - and the first Ethiopian software product was available commercially in 1985.
Engineer Fesseha collaborated with Joe Baker of Xerox in the United States to draft the first Ethiopic ISO standard which has now become a UNICODE standard and they began lobbying for ‘ETHIOPIC' to be included in the standard. This resulted in Amharic being used in Ethiopian websites and also more and more Ethiopians using their own language to send e-mail messages. He received a lifetime achievement award - pioneering Ethiopic computerization - by Ethiopian Information Technology Professionals Association at Addis Ababa University.
Ethiopia is entering the new millennium knowing that not only its unique language will have just as much place in computing as any other western language, but also assured that its rich cultural and historical records will be preserved and told digitally in Ethiopic for generations to come. And this giant leap forward has been made possible by the pioneering works of Engineer Fesseha.
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