This writing system is used in Ethiopia and Eritrea for several languages, notably Amharic and Tigrinya. It is actually a syllabary or "abuguida," meaning that characters represent a consonant and a vowel. It is also known in Amharic and Tigrinya as ፊደል ("fidäl"; sometimes written in English as "fidel").
A BBC article entitled "Ancient alphabet enters cyber age" (2000-1-19) describes the early process of adapting this script to computers (before Unicode). See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/609217.stm
There is an effort to collect information on the history of and contributors to computing in Ethiopic/Ge'ez at http://abyssiniagateway.net/fidel/legends/
A good font for this script Abyssinica SIL.
The "Basic Ethiopic character picker" at http://people.w3.org/rishida/scripts/pickers/ethiopic/ lets one compose text in this script by clicking on the characters.
"Ethiopic Computing Information" (TLT, Penn State Univ.) http://tlt.its.psu.edu/suggestions/international/bylanguage/ethiopic.html
(see also References, below)
|Code||N°||English Name||Nom français||Property Value Alias||Date|
|Ethi||430||Ethiopic (Ge‘ez)||éthiopien (ge‘ez, guèze)||Ethiopic||2004-10-25|
Source: Codes for the representation of names of scripts / Codes pour la représentation des noms d’écritures, http://www.unicode.org/iso15924/iso15924-codes.html
Wikipedia, "Abuguida," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abugida
______, "Ge'ez alphabet," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ge%27ez_abugida
______, "Ge'ez language," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ge%27ez_language (deals with both the script and the language)